posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:56 PM
As head-scratchingly bizarre as the title sounds, it's true. Chinese scientists has managed to cultivate neuro-babies from kidney cells found in
urine. Essentially, they've been able to repogram these kidney cells to become the seeds that can develop into various types of neurons.
But embryonic stem cell treatments are fraught with ethical issues and non-embryonic methods are complicated--and complexity introduces a greater
chance of something going wrong (in this case that means mutations and genetic defects). The new method, which taps skin-like cells from the linings
of the kidney tubes that are present in urine, converts its source cells into neurons and glia cells via a more direct route, making the process more
efficient while narrowing the margin of error.
This next source has some extra details on the exact process by which the discovery was made. Not being a medical major, I can't really translate the
jargon, but according to the article, tests on mice has been highly encouraging.
Medical Daily Source
This time, Pei and his colleagues converted the cells using vectors that did not integrate into the cell's genome. The technique was successful,
and converted the cells into stem cells in just 12 days, half the time that other cells have taken. With some more time, the cells showed the rosette
shape customary for neuron cells. The team grew the cells and they turned into fully functional neurons in the laboratory. The technique seems to be
quicker, more effective, and hopefully less error-prone than other methods.
This is another step toward taking the most unlikely of cells and generating an entire crop of ready-made body parts for usage. I daresay it also
boosts our understand of cellular manipulation, helping to pave the way towards everyday miracles that will make death seem like a bad dream.
Looking far down the road, I can see in my mind's eye a market of organs and appendages that can be swapped in like a graphics card on a computer. And
just like a computer, the more you replace its parts, the longer it lasts. Perfect health, stronger anatomy...Immortality, anyone? Because that's
where we're headed, it seems.
edit on 10-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)