October 16, 2012
Stem Cells Restore Thyroid Function In Mice
A paper in Nature reports successful regeneration of thyroid function in mice using embryonic stem cells. Another step in the direction of body repair by replacing body parts.
Sabine Costagliola, a molecular embryologist at the Free University of Brussels, and her team study the development of the thyroid gland, which regulates how the body uses energy and affects sensitivity to other hormones. Their research shows that thyroid function can be re-established even after the gland has been destroyed — at least in mice.
Once this ability to grow replacement organs is replicated in humans we'll start being able to repair our bodies the same way repair our cars: by replacing bad parts.
Body part replacement has uses beyond restoring youthful function. If we could replace, say, a pancreas than has cancer in it then getting rid of cancer by swapping ot cancerous organs would become the preferred treatment in many cases.
Randall Parker, 2012 October 16 09:43 PM
I found an article in our local paper today. Unfortunately it is not about stem cells, but it shows what we are now capable of doing. Might be a idea for a future post on your site.
From the PEI Guardian
**** The following are a few points in the article.
"....Just like that, Paul Morrison can see again.
.On Tuesday, a set of specially designed lenses was put up to his eyes. The result was not a miracle, but it was certainly magical.
. can see again with 20/20 vision to boot..."
The much publicized stem cell research debate focusing on moral arguments is off target with the goal of real progress in the direction of human physiological benefits potential. No matter what side of this issue you come down on, practical considerations ultimately trump this emotionally clouded subject. Stem cells are a valuable renewing asset of human physiology and thus are deserving of our intense interest, but passionate disagreement about research and cloning issues miss the mark of discovering just how simply we can use what we already know about stem cells and how we can benefit from that knowledge to improve the health of everyone.