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Question:

From Raleigh, North Carolina, USA:

A couple of months ago or so, I heard a piece on National Public Radio about a researcher at some Californian university who had found a way to cultivate human stem cells from adipose tissue extracted via liposuction. At the time, I thought, "Wow, this changes everything!" Since then, however, I haven't heard a peep about this in any media, although the debate about embryonic stem cells continues to rage at full strength.

Do you know anything about this researcher's claim? Was it a hoax? Why isn't it making the news?

Answer:

I don't think that what you read about was a hoax; there have been reports of cells called 'preadipocytes' being removed at operation that could grow into mature fat cells. I am not sure though that they would be classified as stem cells. In any case, if you were thinking in terms of regenerating insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, this would probably not work because adipose tissue is of mesodermal origin and pancreatic cells come from endoderm. Stem cell potential is exciting nonetheless, but it has a long way to go before it can become a resource for diabetes.

DOB

DTQ-20010717093257
Original posting 29 Jul 2001
Posted to Research: Cure

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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