Skip to comments.Regenerative medicine repairs mice from top to toe - Three separate studies in mice show normal...
Posted on 04/18/2012 8:33:49 PM PDT by neverdem
Three separate studies in mice show normal function can be restored to hair, eye and heart cells.
At the turn of the twentieth century...
But stem-cell transplants aren't always straightforward: if the cells fail to integrate into the desired tissue, they can form tumours instead. To avoid this problem, researchers have been trying to reprogram fully developed adult cells directly so that they form other cell types. Now, in a study published in Nature3, a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has managed to achieve just that using cardiac fibroblasts.
Deepak Srivastava, director of the UCSF Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, led a team in reprogramming cardiac fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes the muscle cells of the heart that are permanently lost after a heart attack. The team used a retrovirus to deliver three transcription factors that induced the reprogramming in adult mice, and improved their cardiac function. This study follows on from work in 2003, when Srivastava and his colleagues discovered that a mutation in one of these transcription factors, GATA4, caused heart disease in several generations of a family under his care4. What I do clinically, motivates me. Absolutely, every day, he says.
Robert Lanza, a regenerative-medicine specialist at Advanced Cell Technologies, a biotechnology firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, reiterates that regenerative medicine has come a long way since Morgan's time, and is a field that holds much promise for the future. These three papers are just the tip of the iceberg. By the time we grow old, doctors are going to look back and say, Can you believe people used to go bald, go blind or even have their leg cut off from vascular disease? and then the doctor will treat the problem with an injection of cells.
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Regenerative medicine ping
I've made a study of technologies over the last 200 years. And we do have much better medicine today. But we have procedures that are exactly the same as 200 years ago.
I take heart in the fact that germ theory caught on, and most doctors wash their hands before cutting into you.
Knowing how fast electronics have improved, I think I know just how primative our medicine will appear in 30 years.
Why spend tens of thousands of dollars regenerating heart muscle when you can just "give the patient a pill to make her as comfortable as possible?"