Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LifeFacts - Human brain stem cells found to have embryonic-like properties

Researchers have found that adult stem cells taken from a human brain may have the same characteristics as embryonic stem cells, thus negating the need to destroy embryos for their stem cells. Researchers from the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute took mature human brain cells from epilepsy patients to generate new brain tissue in mice. These adult brain stem cells can be coaxed into producing large amounts of new brain cells that not only could be used to treat one patient, but many more.

Now for the numbers ... Dennis Steindler, Ph.d., said that they can take a single brain cell out of an adult and theoretically "generate enough brain cells to replace every cell of the donor's brain and conceivably those of 50 million other people." These newly discovered human brain cells may be the key to unlocking the cures to brain disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, strokes and others. This is a first, knowing the ability of human brain cells to change into different cell types.

For more information, click here and here.