Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Fully Functional Bioengineered Tooth Grown In a Mouse

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the tooth-the-whole-tooth dept.

Biotech 264

A couple of weeks back the Wall Street Journal reported on the first organ grown in vivo from stem cells — a tooth in the mouth of a mouse. Reader cdrpsab spotted the news on the MedGadget blog; the research had been reported earlier in the PNAS. From the WSJ: "The researchers at the Tokyo University of Science created a set of cells that contained genetic instructions to build a tooth, and then implanted this 'tooth germ' into the mouse's empty tooth socket. The tooth grew out of the socket and through the gums, as a natural tooth would. Once the engineered tooth matured, after 11 weeks, it had a similar shape, hardness and response to pain or stress as a natural tooth, and worked equally well for chewing. The researchers suggested that using similar techniques in humans could restore function to patients with organ failure."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I have a friend who grew a tooth. (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170661)

Of course, we all grow teeth at the beginning of our lives, but this friend of mine grew a new tooth when he was in his thirties. He had an extraction, and about two years later, a new one came in. He wasn't one of those people who start out with three ranks of teeth (that's pretty rare too, but not quite as rare a growing a new one as an adult. I think his case got written up in some dental journal.

-jcr

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (4, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170789)

Got a bit of shark in him, eh?

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (5, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170951)

Not that I know of, but he wins more than he loses at poker.

-jcr

how'd you know? (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171015)

did you see the laser beam on his head?

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171095)

Nice, but I'd of gone with: "Don't play cards with that guy!"

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170885)

It wouldn't be bad if humans were able to grow new teeth every thirty to forty years or so.

Teeth wear down, cracks and so on so it would sure not be bad.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171199)

To anybody wishing for this: be sure to specify that the teeth grow in the correct place. The alternative is rather gross [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170947)

I had three of one of my front teeth when I was rather young. The second one was a gnarled twisted mass. :\

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171049)

I had three of one of my front teeth when I was rather young. The second one was a gnarled twisted mass. :\

Be grateful you hadn't born in ancient Sparta.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (0, Offtopic)

mehreen (1623807) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170979)

Wisdom tooth grows in a very old age, may be its wisdom tooth. http://www.topdogmarketinggroup.com/ [topdogmarketinggroup.com]

Perhaps not as interesting but (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171439)

I was always dreading having my wisdom teeth taken out.

While in the Army I had a cracked molar that had to be removed and the dentist says, "Look at the good side, you were born without wisdom teeth".

Hu Hu (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170667)

I can see coming the spam update : "A new way to enlarge your pen1s"

Re:Hu Hu (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170779)

Yeah, since it seems from the summary that you would first have to remove the original organ, I don't see that being an attractive option except for men with particularly severe problems [wikipedia.org] . It would be one thing if the original organ was clearly too small to be functional (see link) but lopping off a perfectly good (if averagely endowed) penis? Seems pretty doubtful.

Re:Hu Hu (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170865)

then keep the original and grow a new one next to it. double the pleasure

Re:Hu Hu (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171027)

You are not looking far enuff. For instance why not having two sets - one for wify one for girlfriend? If one grows such additional organ on one's knee it would t hen give quite new meaning to the phrase" f.k yourself in knee'.

Re:Hu Hu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171581)

Can you please send me information about your new penis enlarging teeth? I am intrigued...

tyler durden says:- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170679)

deliver me to perfect teeth!!!

Start small? (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170685)

how about we start small, lets say use this to regrow teeth for those who have lost them.

Re:Start small? (3, Insightful)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170703)

I think not.

You'd be putting the tooth fairy out of business.

Re:Start small? (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170743)

The tooth fairy could suck it up with her clearly outdated business model.

Re:Start small? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170773)

The tooth fairy would then receive a bailout package.

Re:Start small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170801)

Nah, they'll simply write a law making it illegal to re-grow your own teeth without approval from the tooth fairy, which has been given power by congress to legally represent all tooth-makers, even those which have never had any affiliation with her.

Re:Start small? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170811)

That's okay. She's a bogeyman anyway.

Re:Start small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171311)

Everyone knows she is a Nazi Socialist who will not produce her birth certificate.

Re:Start small? (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170913)

Why, the old teeth would still fall out. In face, she would get extra from when the NEW teeth fall out!

Re:Start small? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171243)

Market glut. The value of teeth would plummet.

Re:Start small? (1)

canonymous (1445409) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170949)

I dunno, we have no idea what she's doing with those teeth. I have a feeling she's getting more out of it than we are...

Re:Start small? (2, Informative)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171149)

She builds her castle out of them.

Re:Start small? (2, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171275)

Given this advancement I foresee a drop in the price of her building materials.

Re:Start small? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171345)

I don't see why its good to teach children that you should always look for a way to make a buck from everything. It leads to situations where people believe its actually illegal for companies to give up a small amount of profit in order to help make the world a better place. What's really scary is, it really COULD be illegal!

just creating more work for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171143)

prison rapists and dentists, but only dentists get rich

Squeek Squeek BITE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170707)

Squeek Squeek BITE!

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170731)

go to ref 0000934823 increase appendage to 304.8 millimeters

Fully Functional Bioengineered Tooth Growing (1, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170777)

Functional? Is this solution recursive?

Re:Fully Functional Bioengineered Tooth Growing (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170813)

No, but it works with higher-order functions. Instead of having a function "bite this", it uses a function "give me something to bite with".

Strange Leap (5, Funny)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170781)

The researchers suggested that using similar techniques in humans could restore function to patients with organ failure."

The submitter got me, I have to admit. I was reading the summary, thinking that it would end with "could allow humans to regrow teeth"... but they pulled a zigzag, and went a different direction. Organs. Wow. Did M. Knight Shamalyan write this summary?

Re:Strange Leap (5, Informative)

alannon (54117) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170841)

Honestly, I don't think that calling a tooth an organ is very much of a stretch. Teeth have their own blood vessels and nerves, and consist of a large proportion of living tissue. This [answers.com] little blurb provides what I think is a convincing, if hardly exhaustive, argument that teeth are organs.

Re:Strange Leap (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171037)

I don't think that calling a tooth an organ is very much of a stretch.

Especially considering that bones are organs, and teeth and bone are very similar indeed !

Re:Strange Leap (3, Interesting)

Richard Kirk (535523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171455)

I can see Toonol's worries here. The ovaries contain single cells that ought to grow into a whole being when fertilized. Sometimes, these go wrong, and you get something else. These other things are usually hair, teeth, or occasionally eyes (eeww!). However, you don't get a fingernail or a kidney or a brain. This is probably because hair, teeth and eyes can be 'seeded' from a single cell, where other organs probably develop from a coordinated modification of a set of cells.

This is not to say that there isn't come magic genetic 'sudo' command that allows you to ask for a left kidney, medium size, but we haven't seen any sign of it yet.

Re:Strange Leap (4, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170983)

The problem with growing organs is that in order to get cells to multiply you have to disable certain genes in those cells, or at least reset their counters. Which genes ? Well those that guard against cancer ...

Our bodies go to great lengths to prevent cells from multiplying anywhere and it is only allowed by the human DNA in very specific cases : blood production in the bone marrow, when a woman becomes pregnant, and just before a woman gives birth. There are others, but those are major modifications of human cell's normal reproduction. The body goes to great lengths to prevent cell division in organs once a human being is born, instead choosing to do the bulk of the necessary divisions before birth and then letting those already-existing cells enlarge instead of divide to make a child grow. That's not to say there is no cell division involved in growing a child, but a lot less than you'd think from the size difference.

All 3 of those exceptions are also major causes of cancer : leukemia, endometrial cancer and breast cancer.

Getting stuff to grow is easy, just kill of the p70 gene. Getting stuff to grow safely is hard. Very very hard. Loads of research still need to be done before this can really be risked in a live human being.

Re:Strange Leap (5, Insightful)

cnettel (836611) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171093)

Solid. References. Now. (For the statement that a majority of growth to maturity just involves enlarging existing cells.) BTW, have you ever heard of osteoblasts and osteoclasts? Those cells are actively renewed and renewing bone throughout life, although they decline with age. You are certainly right that extremely rapid and "deep" division is limited in most organs, as you only need a few divisions and the wonderful gift of exponential growth to get just about any number of cells. The problem of organ regeneration is of course that the respecialization requires a number of "cell generations" in itself. There are some risks involved here, but the current techniques are not simply hardwiring the "on" mode for cell division. In fact, to get any real organ you need the natural "stop" modes and directed apoptosis just as much as you need the ability to start cell division in the first place.

Repeated injuries can cause cancer (5, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171163)

My ex was a biologist, and told me that the way the healing of wounds is implemented is that cells multiply when there aren't other cells next to them. If there is a hole, then the cells will divide to fill in the gap, with the signal to stop occuring when the dividing cells finally close up the hole. The problem is that that signal to stop gets screwed up somehow sometimes - either it's not produced, or its ignored. There is only a small probability of this happening, but if you are repeatedly wounded, then the probability increases. Some people have a habit of biting the insides of their cheeks. I understand that doing so can cause cancers where you bite.

Re:Repeated injuries can cause cancer (1, Troll)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171237)

No. The probability is still the same, but the number of times it is applied increases.

Re:Strange Leap (2, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171175)

"Which genes ? Well those that guard against cancer ..."

Which brings up an interesting point... Since our lives depend critically on the controlled death (apoptosis) of cells. A lot of people don't fully grasp that controlled death of cells is absolutely critical to maintaining limb, bodily form, and organ integrity (eyes, hands, creating fingers)

You can see what happens here when when apoptosis goes wrong:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Celldeath.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Thank goodness for controlled cell death.

Re:Strange Leap (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171303)

I had to look at that image twice, my brain made it look like a normal foot the first time.

I'm not sure if I'd even call that webbed, at least tell me they could speak to fish.

Re:Strange Leap (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171189)

Our bodies go to great lengths to prevent cells from multiplying anywhere and it is only allowed by the human DNA in very specific cases : blood production in the bone marrow, when a woman becomes pregnant, and just before a woman gives birth.

W. T. F.

Tell that to the numerous wounds I have received over the years, which no longer exist as if by magic.

Re:Strange Leap (2, Funny)

228e2 (934443) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171373)

The problem with growing organs is that in order to get cells to multiply you have to disable certain genes in those cells, or at least reset their counters ....

thats only 1 line of code that needs to be added . . . this shouldnt be too hard ;)

Re:Strange Leap (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171391)

The problem with growing organs is that in order to get cells to multiply you have to disable certain genes in those cells, or at least reset their counters. Which genes ? Well those that guard against cancer ...

OTH cancer can often be treated with surgery to the point where the body can't do without the lost tissue. If the tissue can be regrown the surgery may not be such a bad idea. Maybe we have to prune our bodies like trees.

Re:Strange Leap (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171179)

Well, think of the possibilities. A church wouldn't have to get an organ built, it could simply be grown.

Re:Strange Leap (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171293)

Well there is a video on Youtube where they grow a hearth muscle that starts beating spontaneously, amazing and shocking stuff. So I am not surprised here, good piece of news to read about in the morning anyway.

So how long ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170803)

... until those grown third teeth are available for humans?

Organ Transplants? (1, Flamebait)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170805)

How about restoring functions to ... teeth?

You don't need to be suffering from periodontal disease to know that missing or otherwise bad teeth are real enough issues for ordinary people. With the possible exception of friends from across the pond, of course. ;-)

Re:Organ Transplants? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171235)

I suspect that that is on the docket as well, once the kinks are worked out; but it has a rather different risk/reward ratio.

Implanting fake teeth isn't a terribly fun procedure, nor are fake teeth perfect; but our ability to replace teeth with synthetic equivalents is a hell of a lot better than our ability to replace most any other organ with synthetic equivalents(and, even if we don't bother, a missing tooth will kill you a lot more slowly than most other missing organs). For organs where synthetic replacements do not exist, and natural replacements are scarce and often require immunosuppressant drugs, taking a risk on experimental therapy is totally reasonable. For teeth, you want things to be worked out and well understood.

It's a scam (3, Funny)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170807)

This is nothing but a scam to rip off the tooth fairy. Shame on you, science.

Re:It's a scam (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170887)

On the contrary, this will allow us to extract teeth and have new ones grown in, thereby providing the tooth fairy with an abundant supply of teeth. However beneficial this may be to the tooth fairy, it is actually detrimental to us. With the recession the way it is, countless families will resort to extracting their teeth to provide supplemental income from the quarters the tooth fairy leaves. Obviously, this will lead to a surge in the money supply and a subsequent devaluation of the dollar. This has bad written all over it.

Re:It's a scam (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170939)

You are assuming that the stem-cell induced new tooth costs less than 25 cents to grow...

Re:It's a scam (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171363)

Wait, American families only hand out a quarter for a missing tooth? That's it? Is today's generation actually mollified by this? What can they spend a quarter on? A piece of lint?

Re:It's a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171511)

  On the good side it means we can all get a Sega Dreamcast!

Human Pancreas? (4, Informative)

JakartaDean (834076) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170809)

Mr. Scientist, if you happen to get around to doing something like this for a human pancreas, could I order one please? Blood type B+, if it's not too much trouble. DNA available on request.

Yours sincerely,

Dean, on behalf of millions of Type I diabetics

P.S. I *love* hearing about this stuff. The potential for helping millions is incredible.

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170833)

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Therefore I guess your immune system would destroy your replacement pancreas just as it did with the original one. However IANAMD.

Re:Human Pancreas? (2, Interesting)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170837)

If you are type 1 then your immune system would destroy any pancreatic islet cells implanted. Type 2 diabetics who are insulin resistant with a burnt out pancreas would be choicer targets for this type of therapy. Type 1 diabetics will be waiting for an immunological solution first.

Re:Human Pancreas? (3, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171067)

As a Type 1 diabetic myself it really makes my day when something new and cool like this pops up on my screen. I vaguely remember some doctor-or-some-such saying a few years back that diabetes is a disease that should have been cured (or at least fixable) 30 years ago. If not for the fact that medical companies have an income from insulin, needles, and other paraphernalia as stable as WoW subscriptions and probably a goodly bit bigger, it probably would have. Though I am pleased to see there have been actual, tangible improvements made in the few years I've lived with this damned malfunction, it scares and annoys the hell out of me that all the big money goes into making a disease/malfunction that kills more people than either cancer or AIDS a bit more manageable instead of fucking fixing it.

Fix 1 (don't know the current status of gene replacement therapy, but seems doable):
Why can't they just get the DNA of some thousand diabetes type 1 patients and healthy people on record, analyze it for the bits that stick out in diabetics, and use a virus to replace the defect bits? Isn't this the general idea behind gene replacement therapy? Follow up with auto-immune drugs used for transplant patients so we get rid of all the T-cells made for killing insulin producing cells, and transplant/grow a pancreas. I don't know.. it seems so god damned simple, yet IAJARG (I Am Just Another Random Geek) so I'm probably wrong.

Fix 2 (bit of a hazzle, but uses everyday techniques that any semi-large hospitals should have expertise on):
What about this? Transplanted organs are rejected by the auto-immune system. The little bastards are produced in the bone marrow (right?). This would mean that if my entire auto-immune system is wiped clean (with drugs every hospital has) and my bone marrow is replaced with donated marrow from a healthy person, I would in effect have that persons auto-immune system. As far as I can see, the new bone marrow isn't going to reject itself. It might reject the entire body it has been transplanted into but blood cancer is one of the least fatal cancers these days, right? Bone marrow transplant can't be that dangerous..? Again, transplant a pancreas (preferably from the same donor) or grow a new one. A couple of years of vaccinations and being sick and on antibiotics 24/7 later.. Voila, defective auto immune system is out, new one is up and running, new pancreas is in and the damned immune system doesn't attack it!

Could someone smarter than me please inform me why a disease, seemingly so simple to fix, remains uncured to this day with no big breakthroughs on the up-and-coming? Everyone gets their dose of daily cancer/AIDS/COPD/anti-drug propaganda. Everyone gets a visit now and then from someone collecting money for cancer research projects. At the same time, most people I talk to think diabetes means I have to take one shot a day (or a few pills) and the reply to how serious a condition it actually is usually boils down to "You can die from diabetes..? *disbelief*", "You sure you aren't making that up?" or "LOL, why haven't I ever heard of anyone dying of it then?".

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171117)

Fix 1: we don't yet know reliable and safe ways to transplant genes using viruses.

Fix 2: way worse than the disease for most of people.

A much more sane variant of Fix 2 is transplantation of islet cells, grown from patient's own stem cells. I'm sure one day it'll be there.

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171503)

Fix 1: we don't yet know reliable and safe ways to transplant genes using viruses.

Well, except for the test subjects that had a genetic disorder which caused cells in their retinas to have such reduced light sensitivity as to render them blind. Several times has conditions such as this been treated using gene replacement treatment with levels of success ranging from being able to discern motion to reading, all within the first few weeks of the treatment. I don't remember the original article, so I'm just going to link to a random one that seems to talk about the same general thing: Gene therapy restores vision in nearly blind patients [www.cbc.ca]

Fix 2: way worse than the disease for most of people.

A much more sane variant of Fix 2 is transplantation of islet cells, grown from patient's own stem cells. I'm sure one day it'll be there.

Quite an arrogant thing for you to say (assuming that you, for the sake of validity of your argument, would have told us if you actually have diabetes). I would accept, without a single moments hesitation, having my immune system shut down, having bone marrow and (later) a new pancreas transplanted and living in a bubble for a couple of years. It boils down to this: no treatment, 60 years of drawing blood and injecting insulin several times a day and still you die from complications (assuming you don't get cancer or get hit by a car or something). Or! Go through a very, very uncomfortable

Ok, I might be a bit overly dramatic there. If I go on a no-carb diet and measure my blood glucose 5 times a day I might avoid any complications until I reach 70, at which point I will likely have loads of other shit to worry about. Still, there isn't even a questing of whether I'd do it or not but rather "Would it work?" and if so "How/where do I get it done? Can you start tomorrow? Later today?".

Read up. If transplanting islet cells worked, transplanting whole pancreases would work as well. Aside from the problems associated with other organ transplants (finding a donor the body won't immediately reject), there is the slight problem that a diabetics body will attack any insulin producing cells no matter who's stem cells they are grown from. Giving a type 1 diabetic an organ/islet transplant is like refilling a blown tire. Until you patch up the tire (gene replacement) or get a new one (bone marrow transplant), you will achieve nothing by refilling it past perhaps getting out of the gas station parking lot.

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171533)

Damnit!

Or! Go through a very, very uncomfortable <5 years of treatment near-eliminating all the complications like blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, neuropathy (feeling like your legs are on fire, sometimes even after the amputation), giving you an indescribable increase in life quality as well as extending your now-bettered life by 10-20 years, no longer having your loved ones worried sick because you might keel over and die any time because your body decides to produce some insulin for a few days or your insulin resistance changes...

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171515)

http://www.novocell.com/tech/encapsulation.html [novocell.com]

Those guys are using cell encapsulation as a way to hide islet cells from the immune system, it is showing very promising results. Of course a decent supply of transplant material is still a problem.

Re:Human Pancreas? (2, Interesting)

Kryis (947024) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171091)

Different people have different "strengths" of immune reaction. I've been diagnosed T1 diabetic for over a year now (and had symptoms for quite a while before I was diagnosed), and I am either incredibly sensitive to injected insulin, or my body hasn't quite managed to totally kill of my pancreas yet. Some people go from perfectly healthy to a coma in a matter of weeks, others like me can last much longer; If it has taken my body this long to destroy my pancreatic islet cells, then maybe a "top up" every year or so may do just about enough to push my pancreas to produce enough insulin to give up the injections.

T1 diabetics sometimes get pancreas transplants. I believe that sometimes the islet cells give up within a matter of months, other times an individual may be free from insulin injections for a couple of years [citation needed]

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171527)

Transplants require immunosuppressants so are really only open to those already undergoing a kidney transplant.

Re:Human Pancreas? (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171103)

I seem to remember that beta cell transplants have in some cases been reasonably successful, i.e. only battling the normal rejection problems. If you get the autoimmune reaction at one point, you can trigger Type I diabetes. If the reaction is complete enough, the cells in the pancreas will never replenish on their own, while the immune system might reenter a more normalized state, on its own or through immunosuppressive treatment.

Re:Human Pancreas? (2, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171131)

I also seem to remember an article about a female professor at a British university who cured rats who's pancreas had been removed. I can't for the life of me find the article, but the process as described consisted of treating the rats with one common drug that kills white blood cells and another drug that had a less-known side effect of somehow making the auto-immune system not produce the beta-cell attacking basta.. *cough* cells.

This research was done to find a way to prepare a patient for transplant and stop the auto-immune system from immediately destroying the new pancreas. To her great surprise, it seems the spleen produced or released stem cells of some sort that started producing insulin. The rats only needed to stop producing the hostile white blood cells after which they fixed the missing beta-cells themselves.

In light of this, I want that god damned bone marrow transplant, in effect getting someone else's auto-immune system. Has this been tried on diabetics? Has any positive changes been observed, f.ex. in a diabetic patient treated for blood cancer?

Old News? (2, Informative)

zombie_striptease (966467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170845)

I seem to recall reading an article many years ago about a trial in the UK in which this same technique was working quite well on humans. Of course I can't seem to track down the article now, and the closest thing I did find was this article [innovations-report.com] from five years ago about a business providing this service. Unfortunately, it only muddies the waters further by including the line "To date, no companies or research groups in the world have been able to demonstrate the formation of a living, natural tooth." Does anyone else remember the trial I mentioned or am I just imagining things again?

Re:Old News? (3, Informative)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170945)

Found It [lmgtfy.com]

I have bad teeth (5, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170857)

They're horrible, and I live in the United States, a culture where teeth are perfect and white or you are nothing. My wife has beautiful teeth, and despite the fact that we have nearly identical brushing and dental care habits, my teeth are horrid, yellow, and falling to pieces, hers are beautiful, white, and basically no cavities.

Sorry - not all teeth are created equal.

So here I am, 30-something, fairly affluent, and having horrid teeth. You think I wouldn't hesitate to spend a few Gs replacing my craptastic old teeth with new teeth with zero chance of rejection? Sure, they will go yellow quickly, just like the last ones did, but that means I'm in my 80s or later before my teeth are in any way unusual. And effectively, that means good teeth for life.

I've been waiting for this kind of treatment. Where do I sign up?

Re:I have bad teeth (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170967)

I'm pretty sure those whitening kits would be much cheaper.

Re:I have bad teeth (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171039)

I'm pretty sure those whitening kits would be much cheaper.

They don't do much to help teeth that are literally crumbling in your mouth (or did you miss the "falling to pieces" bit in the GP?), and they are most definitely not cheaper than the bridge I had to get earlier this year.

(Had a front tooth broken/knocked out a few years back, and the same accident cracked the teeth on either side of that one.)

Re:I have bad teeth (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171029)

You sign up with the people who aren't religious zealots, believing that life begins at conception and preventing the use of embrionic stem cells. You might believe that too, but I don't believe anyone with any religious affiliation or indoctrination belongs in Politics.

Creating stem cells from other tissues is possible, but adds extra costs. We all know how pharmaceutical companies love to throw money away, don't we...

Seriously, though, this is a lab test. Human trials are so far into the future your kids might benefit from it. After you're dead. Until then, all we can do is try and get logically and critically thinking politicians in positions to effect policy on the subject. If not, some Christian fool (not saying all Christians are fools; YMMV) will say "Wow, you want to do this to humans? Sorry, bub. God is the only one allowed that power." And the whole world returns to the Middle Ages (which is where we are now, really. Apart from drugs and better hygiene, all we have are butchers. Some are foot butchers, some are heart butchers, some are tooth butchers. They all still just cut the dead stuff away and sew replacements in their place.)

Re:I have bad teeth (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171229)

You sign up with the people who aren't religious zealots, believing that life begins at conception and preventing the use of embrionic stem cells.

The above is false if you live in the USA. The embryonic stem cells research was never illegal just denied Government funding in most cases. If you do not live in the USA, what country denied the use of embryonic stem cells research. Tim S.

Re:I have bad teeth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171637)

If it troubles you so much move to England.

Maybe they could grow kidneys for my friend's baby (0)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170861)

A friend of mine had a baby girl, unaware until late in her pregnancy that she and the father were both carriers for the recessive form of polycystic kidney disease. Babies with this condition rarely survive gestation, and almost all of those that are born alive die within a month of birth.

Her baby's kidneys were both removed when she was less than a week old. My friend has been a hero to her child, lavishing her not just with the usual motherly love, but also expert medical care that she learned from the doctors and nurses. As a result her baby has survived over a year now.

When her daughter gets big enough to accept it, my friend will donate one of her own kidneys.

This sort of research holds out hope that more such babies will have a chance at survival.

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29170911)

They could give teeth to the old?
The organ thing is awesome,and needs funding and lots of work, but why not trickle down what we can already do? Sell making new teeth in order to fund organ research.

what abt side effects (1)

IAmKidding (1623797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170919)

they shd watch that mouse for next 1 year and see if it developes something else due to this new stuff they did to him.

on the other note - people start advertising the growing different kinds teeth...colored..dracula-like..different shapes

Re:what abt side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171017)

TOOTH CANCER?!

When I got a tooth cap I asked the tech who made.. (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171109)

... it if he ever tried making vampire fangs, not like the plastic ones but made of stainless steel and porcelain like my cap. And he said yes he did, he once made himself a set to wear to a Halloween party.

(I have a cap because someone through a spoon at me once. :-()

Re:When I got a tooth cap I asked the tech who mad (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171425)

Every dentist does this at least once.

Human Brain? (1, Insightful)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#29170925)

I hope it can be used to grow brains... some people are definitely operating without them :)

On behalf of the "special" people ;) (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171419)

Mental retardation is a disease most people are born with or are inflicted with through some traumatising accident. You should not make fun of such people! They are human beings who are truly special.

Fantastic news... (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171147)

I wonder if this treatment will be available through NHS dentists once it is perfected.

ROFLMFAO I crack myself up sometimes.

Re:Fantastic news... (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171435)

Good point. This, like dental implants, is destined to be a high end treatment for the wealthy. Po' folks will have to do with dentures.

Tags (2, Informative)

consonant (896763) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171219)

smokeemifyagotem

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Toughest tag to parse, EVAR!

Re:Tags (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171287)

Actually, that's the name of the extraterrestrial doctor we got this technology from: Yagotem Smok'eemif.

this mouse with human teeth (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171233)

has just replaced the whale in my nightmares.

Re:this mouse with human teeth (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171477)

I'll take a mouse bite over a whale bite anyday... especially if i's a computer mouse :)

Re:this mouse with human teeth (1)

noname444 (1182107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171539)

Not quite yet. The mouse actually grew back a new mouse tooth, not a human one. So you're stuck with the whale for now.

Screw growing new organs ... (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171241)

Well, not entirely, but seriously - they've come up with a way to grow new teeth for mammals.

Personally, I would love it if I could go to the dentist and have him replace some of my bad teeth with new ones. One or two at a time would be fine.

Instead of getting fake teeth or fillings when you've abused your teeth to the point where the enamel on the outside of the tooth has worn away, exposing the dentine ... if I could get those replaced? I'd almost be willing to kill for that.

Sure, it'd take time to regrow a new tooth, but I could live with that.

So yeah, screw growing new organs - get me some new teeth!

Can they grow a blue tooth? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171463)

Internet enabled tooth... heck, it's only a stretch if they have vision accessories in the tongue

go4t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171475)

Sayyyyy..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29171519)

Cheeeeese!!

Why do mice get all the extra parts? (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#29171541)

Honestly. Teeth, ears - Science is trying to genetically grow Professor Frink. In mouse form. GLAYVEN!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?