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Urology Meets Neurology!

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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.

PopSci Source

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.

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.

Medical Daily Source

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)

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:42 PM
The terms you are looking for are urology/nephrology and neurology.

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:48 PM
I hope they are taking the time to be really really sure about what they are doing here. The difference between Avian Flu and the Spanish Lady is just a few details of biological code in a string. Not much..... So, in that thinking, I sincerely hope they take the time before experiments to consider the possible outcomes...morally as well as scientifically...and how to handle them if they happen. Of course I doubt all this happens and it's more a question of 'Can We' than 'Should We'. That brought us more bad ideas in the real world than anything else, IMO.

I was doing a lengthy bit of research on an upcoming thread I'm working on and ..not to give too much away...the area of focus I'm writing about has every single test they did across multiple series..SCREW UPS in one form or another. A MAJOR thing went wrong..on every single one.

The track record for science going well when time is more important than not good. Biological mistakes could be a fatal issue to billions of people if the cosmic mash gets mixed just the wrong way, IMO. Problem is? We don't even know what 'wrong way' looks like until lab guys start dropping.

edit on 10-12-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by PrplHrt

Thank you!

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

The second article mentions that they haven't altered the dna of the cells. Is that meant to infer the cells will not replicate?

Do the cells have any practical use or are they created just to play with?

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 03:30 PM
reply to post by Bleeeeep

They've been used in mice with encouraging results. They hope to begin testing the method on patients who are ill with brain cancer and similar afflictions. But who says they have to stop at neurons? Maybe they'll come up with an expedited process by which an amputee pees in a cup and has a new leg a month later or something, complete with a Miracle Grow injection or something to help reattach it.

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by AfterInfinity

I thought the way cell reproduction worked was by chromosomes being split, read, and reproduced. If the dna is unchanged, wouldn't it just replicate more kidney cells?

I guess I need to reanalyze what I thought I knew.

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