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!

Liposuction Leftovers Make Easy Stem Cells

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the our-nation-is-wealthy-again dept.

Medicine 67

uuddlrlrab sends along this quote from a report in Nature: "The Stanford researchers used liposuction to extract a couple liters of fat from the bellies of four overweight individuals aged 40 to 65. They then treated the tissue to remove all the gooey, globular fat, leaving behind a collection of fat tissue stem cells. Unlike standard techniques, which require about a month to culture skin biopsies to populations large enough for the reprogramming process, the fat tissue was ready to go after two days of pretreatment. What's more, the cellular reprogramming took only two more weeks and was 20-times more efficient than when converting fibroblasts using the same technique. 'We basically shave off six to eight weeks compared to what the other guys are doing with fibroblasts,' says [Stanford's Joseph Wu], who is now working to find safer ways to reprogram fat without using viruses."

cancel ×

67 comments

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

I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (1, Redundant)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367455)

'nuff said!

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367713)

Speaking of which why the HELL do we give handicap placards and motorized scooters to really fat people? Aren't they the ones who need to walk more than anyone? You're not handicapped just because you can't put the fucking fork down, lard-o. Seriously most of the time I see someone using a handicapped parking space or those motorized chairs at the store, they have two arms and two legs and they are capable of standing and walking, they're just disgusting fatasses. Why the fuck are my tax dollars being used this way, to enable fatties??

There's some things that are ugly for superficial reasons. Then there's fatasses. It's unhealthy, it shortens lifespan, it makes you out of shape and generally much more useless, and worst of all most fatties have a pathetic helpless "it's not my fault at all I don't know how this happened" attitude. Well, lessee, it happened because you eat more calories than you burn and have continued to do so for a long time. We call that basic physics. You see it's not physically possible for you to keep gaining weight if you burn more calories than you eat, so either you eat too much or exercise too little or both. EIther way I don't want to pay higher health insurance premiums and higher tax dollars just because your punk ass couldn't take care of basic things. No, you are not big-boned. Oh, and anyone who allows their small children to become fat little porkers is guilty of child abuse and should be put in jail accordingly. "Thanks mommy and daddy, I am so glad I am now predisposed to diabetes and heart problems and god-knows-what-else from a single digit age!" Yeah. Good job.

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (0, Flamebait)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368439)

You've a lot of rage. Did a fat person sit on you as a child?

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29381667)

He can only achieve orgasm when a 400-pound man buttfucks him.

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (1)

warehousenorth (645004) | more than 5 years ago | (#29383679)

You've a lot of rage. Did a fat person sit on you as a child?

Insightful. Well asked.

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369371)

I thought fat people lowered health insurance costs because they died faster.

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (1)

ixidor (996844) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372719)

alot of the 'fat' people you see with the handicapped placards, have them because thier knees are shot, or about to go. my mom has a thyroid problem, is overweight, not from overeating, and she cannot walk very far without her knees giving out. i know of 2 other people in this situation. i know 1 anecdot != fact, but i would wager this is the case with the majority of overweight people. so before you fat-bash, did you consider that maybe, just maybe they cannot walk that far?

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (2)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373737)

Are they handicapped because they're fat or are they fat because they're handicapped?
Perhaps you're confusing cause and effect

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373755)

How the hell can a first post be redundant?

Re:I'm not getting fat, I'm helping humanity! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374437)

One example would be if it contained the text of the summary.

Stem Cells vs Soap (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367461)

Which is more profitable?

Re:Stem Cells vs Soap (3, Insightful)

SigILL (6475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367533)

Which is more profitable?

The great thing is they only need the stem cells, not the fat itself, so they can get paid twice. Actually, if you factor in getting paid to remove it, they get paid thrice!

Re:Stem Cells vs Soap (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368057)

1) steal Liposuction Leftovers
2) split out stem cells
3) use glycerol to blow up competition
4) ???
5)profit

Re:Stem Cells vs Soap (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368407)

And then you make nitroglycerin out of the lard and no-one pays anything!

Finally !! (0, Redundant)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367471)

Now being fat can be a new industry in the US !!!

At least we can say we are leading at something !

Re:Finally !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367559)

It's the next logical step given that America's leading exports are Hollywood and McDonald's.
  --Ethanol-fueled

Great excuse to be overweight (0, Redundant)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367473)

Now my stomach is like a cord blood bank. I can maintain my pearish figure and have the excuse of regrowing body parts in the future. Sweet.

Woohoo! (0, Redundant)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367477)

Use that beer belly to save your life, or just grow your penis.
See?! The american lifestyle is truly the best!

USA! USA! (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367523)

Talk about an abundant national resource! Sucks to be one of you skinny Frenchies!

Wait... (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367541)

Wait... So I can get thin, and get a new liver cloned at the same time. Sweet! I'll drink to that!

Re:Wait... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29371433)

Only an American could accuse the French of being thin...

Outdated news (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367569)

This is old news. They've been doing this in Japan for a couple of years already through a technique called Cell-Assisted Lipotransfer. They're using it e.g. for breast enhancement and breast reconstruction. See the paper at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17518674

Typical: what's been common in Japan for 3 years now is being heralded as revolutionary in the US, simply because it's Stanford? Can't they think of something that other people HAVEN'T done yet?

Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29369201)

Typical: someone points to Japan and claims that they were first, even though the supporting documentation shows otherwise.

If you bothered to read the paper at the link you cited, the researchers are experimenting with transplantation of body fat (lipotransfer), one containing fat storage cells + fat stem cells, versus a transplantation of fat cells without the underlying stem cells. Their research shows that when you bring the stem cells with the fat cells, the transplantation is usually more successful, because the fat stem cells self-converted into blood vessel cells thus supporting the transfer.

This SlashDot article shows that if you harvest fat from a human, filter the fat storage cells from the fat stem cells, there is now a technique to convert fat stem cells into generic stem cells at a much much faster rate (days) than the conversion of fibroblast (skin) stem cells into generic stem cells (weeks).

Re:Outdated news (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369523)

So wait, the japanese had the technology to do liposuction and generate induced pluripotent stem cells, and couldn't find anything other than boobs?

Seriously though: this is not the same thing. At all. That was taking fat out and putting fat back in. This is taking fat out and making a liver to put in... in theory. To use a car metaphor, we're talking about the ability to take any spare part from your car and turn it into a new engine. You're saying that's old technology because we have been able to use a spare tire to replace a flat tire.

Re:Outdated news (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369659)

So wait, the japanese had the technology to do liposuction and generate induced pluripotent stem cells, and couldn't find anything other than boobs?

I'm sorry, I don't understand how that's a problem. I mean, if I were them, I'd have a very difficult time forcing myself to find other uses.

I Can't Believe It's Not Betty (2, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367573)

They also make a delicious, buttery spread.

Now drug cos will pay ME to lose weight! (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367589)

Or at least reimburse me for the surgery!

I understand now... (3, Funny)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367625)

Here I thought we were just becoming a nation of lard-asses, when really it was a sneaky plot to build up our future stem cell reserves. Thank you, McDonalds for your SuperSized McWisdom.

Free liposuction? (1)

cymen (8178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367679)

Will the demand for stem cells create an industry of fat cell harvesters based on offering free liposuction? Oh, and to add a proper /. comment to this: Finally, America will no longer be the butt of all fat jokes.

STOP IT! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367687)

Just stop it with these "other source of stem cells" stories. Pretty soon the whole aborted fetus market bubble will crash and I'm still heavily leveraged!

Re:STOP IT! (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367901)

Just stop it with these "other source of stem cells" stories. Pretty soon the whole aborted fetus market bubble will crash and I'm still heavily leveraged!

You worry too much. People will just start aborting fat fetuses for stem cells.

Re:STOP IT! (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369681)

Not to ruin the joke, but there are two important points which I worry might get trampled
1. embryonic stem cells don't come from "aborted fetuses," they come from in vitro fertilization. I realize a lot of people don't think there's any difference, but these aren't from unwanted pregnancies being terminated at abortion clinics, these are embryos that were always headed for the biomedical waste pile. By the time you know you're pregnant, your embryo doesn't appear to contain any cells which are ESC.
2. ESC aren't alternatives to this. Embryonic stem cells come from another individual, unless that embryo is a clone of you, your body would probably reject tissues derived from ESC as it would from any other adult. Being able to make pluripotent stem cells more efficiently from YOUR OWN fat on the other hand wouldn't have that problem. If you needed a new heart in the future, you might undergo microliposuction one week, wait a week or month while they turned that tissue into induced pluripotent stem cells and made those cells into a new heart, then you'd undergo surgery to remove your original heart and put in the heart made from transformed fat cells. Or maybe they'd just enrich your original heart with fat stem cells turned into cardiomyocytes. Who knows. But you can't make a heart from ESC and put it into yourself without being on immunosupressant drugs for the rest of your life.

That's good turn-around time! (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367691)

So if someone has some sort of injury that could be treated with stem cells, they can use the patient's own cells to do the repair. This would probably bring about the fastest possible recovery time for a patient.

Can they make blood cells in a similar fashion I wonder?

Medical research seems to have really plateaued over the past 20 years or so. Money is spent on cancer research and all manner of other things but improvements have been incremental, meanwhile, the over-use of antibiotics has led to even more troubling problems. But this stem cell stuff really seems to be the right idea when it comes to healing and repairing things and that is some seriously productive progress. While I am sure we are a long way off from replacing lost limbs, simple, more consistent tissues seem to be an easy candidate for replacement and repair using these methods... even internal organs seem a good candidate for stem cell treatment.

Damn you "W!" You held progress back by at least 8 years and maybe more. (On the other hand, perhaps his dumbassed-ness led to further research into easier and more accessible means of getting stem cells...) Anyway, damn you "W" just the same.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29368375)

Yes, W's restrictions on funding of embryonic stem cell research lead to much more work on non-embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are typically too "wild" and lead to tumors when used for therapies. Adult stem cells (like these fat cells) are "tamer" and show far greater promise. I believe that most embyronic stem cell work has been a waste of effort and resources and was merely a useful club for the media and celebrities to bash the pro-lfe crowd.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368467)

More or less this I would have avoided getting political with it and stuck to the instability of embryonic cells, but this post in on the money.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29370855)

Adult stem cells (like these fat cells) are "tamer" and show far greater promise. I believe that most embyronic stem cell work has been a waste of effort and resources and was merely a useful club for the media and celebrities to bash the pro-lfe crowd.

You've misinterpreted the research. On their own, adipocyte stem cells haven't shown any therapeutic value. These researchers reprogrammed adipocyte stem cells into something that is indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells, which happen to be far more useful. In effect, they've made embryonic stem cells w/o using an embryo. Within the stem cell biology community (of which I am a member), there's little doubt that this general approach will provide the basis for future cell replacement therapies. It will take a while to get it right, but at this point it's more an issue of engineering than theoretical science.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368409)

Damn you "W!" You held progress back by at least 8 years and maybe more. (On the other hand, perhaps his dumbassed-ness led to further research into easier and more accessible means of getting stem cells...) Anyway, damn you "W" just the same.

You do realize that this research was eligible for federal funding under George W. Bush, right?
As a matter of fact, because of his limitations on embryonic stem cell research, more money was available for this sort of research than would have been otherwise.
The only reason that medical research has "plateaued" is because treatment for the easy and/or obvious stuff has been developed:
Smallpox--infectious, frequently deadly---cured, infectious agent is extinct
Polio--infectious, results in devastating disability or death---effective vaccine developed and deployed

The fact of the matter of the drugs used to treat diabetes the majority were developed in the last 20 years. The reason that improvements appear to be incremental is because all of the developments that lead to massive increases in life expectancy are done.

That's funny (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#29371519)

The reason that improvements appear to be incremental is because all of the developments that lead to massive increases in life expectancy are done.

I think that was his point. He doesn't believe there are no more significant developments to be had, but none are happening.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373323)

"treatment for the easy and/or obvious stuff has been developed: "

Easy, obvious and affecting well-off Westerners, yes.

Easy, obvious and generating zero revenue for drug companies? Not so much.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368435)

There are already artificial blood cells and you can actually thank the Jenova's Witnesses for that.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29371569)

It still doesn't quite make up for them trying to summon Meteor or causing the Geo-Stigma.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29374417)

Yeah, but they're only for use in the SOLDIER program.

Re:That's good turn-around time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29371873)

The sad part is that this sort of news is about two years old, if not older.

troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367695)

See? Without Republicans, you guys would be well on your way to aborting yourselves out of existence.

You're welcome.

Re:troll (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29368201)

Nah. We were only going to abort the insecure, easily frightened babies - they're the ones who grow up to be Republicans.

Re:troll (2, Funny)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373199)

Nah. We were only going to abort the insecure, easily frightened babies - they're the ones who grow up to be Republicans.

I'm proud of myself right now. I currently have mod points, but I displayed sufficient integrity that I was able to restrain myself from modding the parent +1, Insightful.

It wasn't easy, because yes, like a lot of people, I consider the Republican Party to essentially be the Satanic priesthood...but I managed it. ;)

Please tag this 'fightclub' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367773)

Please tag this 'fightclub'.

Thanks.

Re:Please tag this 'fightclub' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29367945)

We don't talk about that.

I'm Not Usually Squeamish, But... (1, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29367983)

ICK! This one grosses me out!

Besides, what if the stem cells turn out to pass on the "fatty" gene?

Re:I'm Not Usually Squeamish, But... (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369705)

Guarantees future supply. It's self sustaining!

Re:I'm Not Usually Squeamish, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29371365)

Besides, what if the stem cells turn out to pass on the "fatty" gene?

Considering one of the main benefits of this procedure is a person gets to use cell cultures originating from their own body, I doubt this will be a problem. Even in the case of a chimera [wikipedia.org] , the genes were already extant in the person's body.

donors needed (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368077)

where can i sign up?

Re:donors needed (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368195)

KFC.

All those years.... (2, Funny)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368325)

All these years I'd volunteered to be a fat donor....finally realized!

a new source of income (1)

iveygman (1303733) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368515)

I propose fat farms! Not like the camp, I mean real ones. You can make a fortune in Alabama and Mississippi selling fat for $100/oz or whatnot.

Work it into the price of... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29368847)

Can you imagine if the plastic surgeons actually worked this into the price of liposuction, everyone would be getting it, as their substantial donation of fat could give them a reimbursement of sorts....cool!

But once everybody has to pay health care.... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 5 years ago | (#29369649)

But once everybody has to pay health care premiums to the private insurance corporations you just know they'll whomp on "obese" people. They're - Baucus and "the Gang of Six" - already looking at charging smokers more, and charging people who are 60 (just about when their income goes into decline with retirement) five times as much as somebody who is 20.

So we'll end up without any fat to fill the jugs for the people who can afford to buy the life-extending treatments that will come on-line with ready access to stem cells...

Oh, wait - those people will just pay other people to get fat! A new twist on the meaning of "fat farms"!

Of course .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#29370219)

It turned out that this new development eventually put Tyler Durden's soap-making enterprise out of business.....

Lack of quality control in bulk cell therapies (3, Informative)

bradbury (33372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29370417)

The problem with any approach using "bulk" cell therapies, particularly from older individuals, is the lack of quality control over the cells involved. With large cell numbers harvested from individuals the cells will have accumulated a variety of mutations, some of which are likely to make the cells cancer prone. Anyone undergoing therapy using large volumes of cells which may not have been subject to multiple levels of quality screening is asking for cancer. Any physician performing therapies using such cells is asking for a malpractice suit. You may be able to get away with this in 40 year old patients where the accumulation of mutations is lower, but with 60+ year old patients the risks will be higher and the success rate of the therapies will be lower. You have to ask why a company, such as Regenexx, which is actually performing human stem cell therapies, is (a) using marrow derived stem cells (which have lower mutagen and free radical exposure compared with adipose tissue); and (b) makes clear distinctions between the GOOD/FAIR/POOR prospects of people undergoing therapies. There are several cases in the literature and conference reports that stem cell therapy success becomes progressively poorer with the age of the donor. For example bone marrow transplants from old mice into young mice have a well deserved reputation for failure.

It is useful to note that all living humans are the product of a single cell, and that those humans are subjected to some fairly rigorous quality control tests (conception and gestation) and that if 60-70% of human conceptions end in miscarriages (as currently is believed) then the quality control is fairly ruthless. If one is playing with numbers of cells which may exceed the number of humans on the planet [1] it is reasonable to start discussing that they have a natural (cumulative) "mutational load" equal to that of all of humanity (plus all of humanity that has ever been conceived). I think the odds may be better at Russian roulette.

Disclosure: I am the author of a pending patent on methods to identify "pristine", e.g. "least mutated", stem cells which can be used for therapeutic purposes.

1. Dealing with billions of cells is not uncommon in bulk therapies if one considers that the human body by various measures probably contains 10-100 trillion cells.

Re:Lack of quality control in bulk cell therapies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29371735)

Not to be flippant, but it almost sounds like you are spreading peremptive FUD against a treatment that might end-up competing with procedures that use "your baby".

Any physician performing therapies using such cells is asking for a malpractice suit. You may be able to get away with this in 40 year old patients where the accumulation of mutations is lower, but with 60+ year old patients the risks will be higher and the success rate of the therapies will be lower.

You fail to define the timescale which this increased risk of cancer operates on, and how the risk increases over-time. For example if the increased risk is only a few percent in the first 10-20 years, but then increases dramatically afterwards, I doubt many patients in their 60+ would care if it ment having the tissue/organs they needed without waiting for donations with a low rejection probability.

Furthermore, I don't see why cells produced by this method couldn't be screened before use. With the relatively (to other methods) high production rate, they could probably be very selective and still have sufficent cells to work with. If I'm wrong about the peremptive FUD, I apologize. However, since TFA is focuses on production, not use, of these cells; your comments seem rather misplaced.

What a boon to restaurant critics! (1)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29371311)

They get paid for the fat coming and going. Where do I sign up as a Michelin inspector?

Makes pretty good soap too. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 5 years ago | (#29371773)

Just saying....

selling their fat asses back to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376449)

the quote is "selling their fat asses back to them", afair.

How much can I get for my fat? (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372267)

I've got a spare lots of lbs of fat to get rid of, how much can I get per lb for selling the stem cells?

Unfortunately it's likely a commodity market since over 60% of the USA is obese. Sigh.

So, in the future... (2, Interesting)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373369)

...there's a chance that health insurers may require a certain minimum BMI in order to ensure you have enough raw materials available for the kind of interventions they're likely to need to fund, or else your premiums will skyrocket to cover the lengthier and more-expensive tissue culture techniques and the extended time on life support needed while your doctors repair your heart or grow you a new liver?

I'll take three triple cheeseburgers, a 40-pack of McNuggets and two "pounders", thanks.

great! (?) (1)

mistahkurtz (1047838) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375401)

so we should expect to see yet more encouragement of people to take the easy way out and not behave like responsible human beings? yes. i'm totally ignoring people predisposed to obesity due to genetic ailments. but really. now that we have this information (and great though it is), what are the ramifications? subsidized liposuction? do what you want, don't pay for it with your health (at least up front), and everything's cool?

Re:great! (?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29379829)

I don't think this in anyway encourages people to be fat. Being overwieght doesn't mean you have significantly more fat cell clusters, it's just that the clusters you do have are storing more fat than if you were physically fit! Liposuction can be done on anyone, because everyone has many thousands of fat cell clusters, regardless of how much fat is stored in them at any specific time. Historically though, the only reason to preform liposuction was because of excess fat storage. The only people who would be encouraged to gain fat for this proceedure would be those so underwieght that removing some of their fat clusters may negatively effect their health (yes people actually do need a small amount of stored fat to regulate certain body functions). Such people do in fact exist, but they are very rare, even in a predominately thin society.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?