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Facial Bones Grown From Fat-Derived Stem Cells

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the best-face-forward dept.

Medicine 106

TheClockworkSoul sends in an article up at Scientific American, from which we quote: "Stem cells so far have been used to mend tissues ranging from damaged hearts to collapsed tracheas. Now the multifaceted cells have proved successful at regrowing bone in humans. In the first procedure of its kind, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center replaced a 14-year-old boy's missing cheekbones — in part by repurposing stem cells from his own body. To create the new bones, which have become part of the patient's own skull structure and have remained securely in place for four and a half months, the medical team used a combination of fat-derived stem cells, donated bone scaffolds, growth factors, and bone-coating tissue. The technique, should it be approved for widespread use, could benefit some seven million people in the US who need more bone — everyone from cancer patients to injured war veterans."

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You saw it here first... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781603)

There are some 7 million people in the US who need more bone. Volunteers?

Official name for it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781765)

Facial boning, i.e. bukakeing.

Re:Official name for it (0, Troll)

PDX (412820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781921)

If it comes from our own spread? Why the long face?

Cool (1, Interesting)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781607)

This is really cool. I can't wait 'till stemcells can finally regrow whole bodies! Imagine! Immortality at our doorstep!

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781633)

They already can and do - all the time!

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781663)

TITCR

Re:Cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781733)

I see a LOT of fat black niggers everywhere. Especially the welfare moms who somehow manage to keep getting knocked up (hey, at least turkey basters don't discriminate!). Maybe we can use their fat for something good. In exchange for the welfare money these fat niggers are eating up. Hell, now a liability can be an investment!

Re:Cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781831)

That's no way to talk about your momma. She may be a two-dollar whore, but she still brought you into this world.

Re:Cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783125)

You don't see fat niggers in the wild. The reason? Anybody who starts to look tasty gets eaten by the other niggers.

Preventing cannibalism is cruel, immoral and a sin against nature.

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781635)

And imagine those brains that become "inelastic" and slower to learn. Imagine having a body that is immortal, but a brain that is slowly losing function.

Re:Cool (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781757)

A brain has never been actively tested in a body that does not age. The brain will stay young longer if the body stays young and can continue to provide it what it needs to function correctly.

Re:Cool (2, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781889)

That's better than a frail body with "a brain that is slowly losing function" ? Really?

Re:Cool (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781901)

Well, I phrased that wrong and there's no edit feature. I'm guessing people get the gist of it though. I'd rather be healthy and risk loss of cognition than unhealthy with the same risk.

Re:Cool (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784511)

I think you illustrated the frail mind quite well :)

Re:Cool (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29790933)

um, no ?

If you think the euthanasia debate was tough, this is a whole new can of worms, McDo sized. For starters, degrading brains in immortal bodies will cause a huge load into the care system, as brains go bad, but the people actually remain healthy and alive.

Eventually, there'll be a debate on shutting down the bodies of those with nearly non-functional brains, and then comes the debate about where you draw the line on how much congiscence there has to be left before you *can* kill someone.

Next step, of course, will be some scandals with people administering drugs to bothersome aunts, so they can be removed from the budget.

Not to mention that near-immortal bodies are going to pump up the birth rates as the old people get cold in winter and find they still have the body to keep each other warm, so eventually the world will have to go above and beyond the chinese model of one child per lapto- err, set of parents.

No, I don't think we want to go there just yet.

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781917)

And imagine those brains that become "inelastic" and slower to learn. Imagine having a body that is immortal, but a brain that is slowly losing function.

If we can fix the body so that it no longer ages, then we can fix the brain so that it no longer ages.

Re:Cool (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782077)

If we can fix the body so that it no longer ages, then we can fix the brain so that it no longer ages.

That's not automatically true. While GGP may have been joking (stem cells make human bodies all the time, that's what they are for), he/she may also have been referring to the idea that one day we may be able to grow you a new body, maybe without a brain, so then you could transplant your brain from your old body to a new one, extending your life. Not really stopping aging in the rest of your body, but resetting it every say 40 years. That doesn't seem impossible.

You'd have to keep your same brain though, and brain cells are not really immortal. While exquisitely maintained and extremely long lived compared to many other cells of the body, they do have a finite life, and after a while they are going to die. I haven't actually seen studies on this, but I've heard the rate of brain cell loss increases as you get older. We have so many brain cells that we might not really see much effect from that (as opposed to other factors that decrease your mental capacity as you get older) in 100 years, but extend that much further, and it might get exponentially worse. If you did the body transplant thing, you could be 200 and look like you were 20, but you -might- have become a vegetable at that point.

Having said that, it has been discovered and eventually universally accepted that your brain does get new brain cells. Obviously the experiments aren't easy to do, so no one is sure whether or not that would be enough to maintain your brain for over 100 years. Last I heard, no one could say what happened to those brain cells, if they integrated into the brain or if they eventually just died, or which parts of the brain they might renew. So your brain might actually be able to keep itself new for as long as it's alive, or it might be coaxed to if we could amplify that. It's kind of hard to imagine the new cells would integrate coherently into the complicated structure, but the brain always builds itself once, and more amazing things have been discovered, so who knows. Even if that were the case, I'd guess you would be a fundamentally different person, but I guess that's true no matter what. A whole lot of maybes.

Short version: "If we can fix the body so that it no longer ages, then we can fix the brain so that it no longer ages." Maybe, maybe not.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782367)

The same biochemical matrix (Of fibronectin fibers created by fibroblasts, and the cellular messages these special matrix cells convey to stem cells) is used for all tissue types: Be it bone, Skin, Kidney, or even neural.

Being able to directly control this to the practical extreme of being able to completely regrow arbitrary organs in vitro, we would be able to regenerate lost brain tissue.

As for instances where stemcells have been used to regenerate neural tissue in the CNS (brain and spinal column) I leave you with this little story:

Toddler shows remarkable improvement after receiving own cord blood stemcells [msn.com]

The usual issue with human scarring VS "salamander like" regeneration is that human fibroblasts "lose" some of their ability to communicate with each other, and with neighboring tissues to know where they are in the body, and how to properly direct tissue regeneration.

SciAM: Can people regrow lost body parts? [scientificamerican.com]

Being able to properly instruct human fibroblasts to perform "Proper" tissue regeneration WOULD imply full neural repair being made possible, at least theoretically.

Re:Cool (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782449)

Short version: "If we can fix the body so that it no longer ages, then we can fix the brain so that it no longer ages." Maybe, maybe not.

What are the real hurdles though? There's really only one. We don't know how the brain works. My view is that we'll be well past that hurdle by the time we stop aging in the body.

The idea of transplanting the brain every 40 years is a different issue. That's a lower threshold, so sure, I don't know if we'd have it figured out. Still that gives plenty of time to figure out how to fix aging brains. I think fundamentally, the brain is a fixed complexity system that has some degree of self-repair capability (ie, it is somewhat forgiving as a system) and there's no real theoretical obstacle to figuring out exact how to fix anything that goes wrong. Maybe it'll take a bunch of centuries (ie, way more time than either of us have) to accomplish, but I don't bet against technology overcoming problems of fixed difficulty.

Re:Cool (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783263)

So your brain might actually be able to keep itself new for as long as it's alive, or it might be coaxed to if we could amplify that. It's kind of hard to imagine the new cells would integrate coherently into the complicated structure, but the brain always builds itself once, and more amazing things have been discovered, so who knows.

More importantly, the brain rewires itself constantly, allowing us to learn. It's not unlikely that new brain cells would be used exactly that way: To learn. The problematic part would probably to keep the old memories, but then, maybe slowly forgetting old stuff will prove advantageous, if not essential, for "eternal" life. After all, the brain probably has a capacity limit to what it can handle, and forgetting old stuff would keep the brain below that limit (a sort of garbage collection for your memory).

Re:Cool (3, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782233)

And imagine those brains that become "inelastic" and slower to learn. Imagine having a body that is immortal, but a brain that is slowly losing function.

Being 25 years old until I die of stupidity/old-age at 90? (Maybe I burned my house down? =P )

Sign me up!

Re:Cool (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29789731)

Explain to me how that is substantially different than the use of "medical marijuana"?

Re:Cool (0, Offtopic)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29794079)

What?!

Re:Cool (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781679)

Better yet we could regrow whole Shakey's Pizzas!

Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781741)

The person who accomplished this breakthrough technology of using stem cells to grow bone is Jesse A. Taylor [cincinnatichildrens.org] . He is an American of Anglo-Saxon ancestry.

The scientific and engineering accomplishments of Europeans (and Americans of European ancestry) are astounding. Some feats include space travel, quantum physics, high-temperature superconductors, automobiles, etc.

The accomplishments of the Japanese are equally amazing. They include the hybrid gasoline engine, the blue light-emitting diode, the Yagi antenna, low-cost MRI machines that produce an MRI for only $100, etc.

By contrast, Africans (and Americans of African ancestry) have accomplished little in science and technology. None of the Nobel prize winners in physics or chemistry is African.

We know that Japanese IQ is about 20 points higher than African IQ. Could this IQ difference explain why all societies dominated by Africans are gross failures?

Re:Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781839)

He is an American of Anglo-Saxon ancestry.

So? What have you accomplished?

-jcr

Re:Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781859)

the usual excuse of racism might have held water a hundred years ago. now that "racist" is about the worst thing that could happen to your reputation, especially if you are an organization, and now that there is affirmative action, we are hard pressed to explain the lack of achievement of black people. if they are in fact equal to whites and asians, then where are their achievements??
>
Of course this does not begin to explain nations in which the vast majority of people are black, in which racism is a non-issue. Why have those nations not been the bastions of peace and stability, if in fact racism is the main thing holding back black people?

Re:Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782541)

I call jimi hendrix a pretty good accomplishment

Re:Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781893)

Americans of African descent invented the technique for preserving blood plasma, pioneered open-heart surgery, the advanced shoe lath, and a slew of peanut-derived products including paints, plastics, and dyes.

Re:Anglo-Saxon Intelligence: Amazing (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782939)

We know that Japanese IQ is about 20 points higher than African IQ. Could this IQ difference explain why all societies dominated by Africans are gross failures?

If politics had something to do with intelligence instead of interests, you might have a point. But even in that case, you're wrong. In societies with a large amount of inequality, such as China, the USA, and most African nations, IQ is much less inherited than it is socially determined. Only when you get to societies where everyone has equal access to education, regardless of income, you see that IQ is related more to the person than to his circumstances.

So IQ being higher in Japan could well mean that access to education in Japan is available to everyone and not restricted to a fairly wealthy subset of the population, such as in the USA.

Ofcourse, your argument was bullshit to begin with: you had to restrict it to the USA and Japan to start with, then you had to restrict it to only the physics and chemistry nobel prizes because including literature or a peace prize (Obama) would have destroyed your argument right off the bat. And ofcourse you had to ignore the fact that a lot of those contributions came about when the African Americans were still enslaved or had just left slavery - slavery tends to reduce your chance of becoming a Nobel prize winner a bit.

In other words: you had to put on a blindfold in order not to see the gaping holes in your argument. Well, good luck in your cosy little world. It must be pretty peaceful when you only see things you want to see.

Re:Cool (1, Offtopic)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781743)

This is really cool. I can't wait 'till stemcells can finally regrow whole bodies! Imagine! Immortality at our doorstep!

In July, this year, 3 separate labs were able to produce normal healthy adult reproducing mice from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Research on mice usually done so because they are mammals like us and many techniques can be easily translated to work on/with humans.

Re:Cool (2, Funny)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781863)

If we had the technology, would the world tolerate its use?

Currently in first world countries being rich or being poor might make life more or less pleasant for its approximately 77 years, but so far, being the wealthiest or most powerful person in the world can't even guarantee you'll live to see 90.

If being rich and being poor meant the difference between living to 177 instead of 77, or even 177 instead of 107, what would that do to our society?

How many people would steal or kill to live even another 70 years? How many people would kill or go to war to allow a parent, spouse, or child to live another 70 years?

I'd like to think that Heinz wouldn't kill to allow his wife to live another 70 years, but I don't know that I wouldn't. I don't know that I wouldn't for myself. Would you?

Re:Cool (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782495)

Well problem with that is if your willing to kill someone to extend your potential 77 years to a potential 177 years you might just bring yourself to not even making it to 30 since you'll die in the attempt. But imagine a world where if you worked your ass off until 65 you could extend your working years until 135, yeah your working for another 70 years but you'll have over 40 years of retirement almost guaranteed with good investing vs people today retiring at 65 and keeling over at 75. Plus you'll still get vacation time during those extra work years and actually *see* your grandchildren grow up and have children of their own instead of dying of old age while they're teenagers.

Re:Cool (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29790953)

At which point you'll be complaining that you die before you can see your great-grandchildren grow up.

Re:Cool (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29792605)

Well humans always complain ... but I'd rather complain about that then never knowing their names to begin with. :)

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29788589)

Heh heh, heh heh, heh heh... Dude, they said, "people who need more bone." Hey, do they need more bone, or do they need more BONE!

Is there? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781627)

Is there really a use now for embryonic stem cells now that we can do just about everything with adult stem cells? Really, if we could move some of the less informed political activists for more funding for adult stem cells perhaps we could do a lot more.

Re:Is there? (2, Interesting)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781689)

If I've read the literature right, embryonic stem cells are, in general, readily available and easily manufactured. Also, they are the best at forming to any cell type we would want.

In contrast, adult stem cells are relatively specialized, meaning that they won't make just anything, but things that are somewhat similar.

That is to say that adult stem cells have been immensely helpful, but we think that embryonic stem cells may be better.

Re:Is there? (2, Informative)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781769)

If I've read the literature right, embryonic stem cells are, in general, readily available and easily manufactured. Also, they are the best at forming to any cell type we would want.

In contrast, adult stem cells are relatively specialized, meaning that they won't make just anything, but things that are somewhat similar.

That is to say that adult stem cells have been immensely helpful, but we think that embryonic stem cells may be better.

There are many research programs on embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and now induced pluripotent stem cells. All of these have many promising futures in science, yet only adult stem cells and IPSC are promising in the ever-so-influential and variable field of ethics/morality, especially those of fundamentalist origin. You are correct about the easy manufacture of embryonic stem cells. Growing stem cells is actually not hard at all and you can make relatively infinite numbers from one discarded embryo.

On the contrary, IPSC circumvents not only the ethical issues of the field, but also many of the clinical concerns relating to transplantation, immune response, etc. Since IPSC can be derived from the patient's own tissues, the products IPSC therapies and procedures are much less likely to be rejected. For most adults, we don't have embryonic stem cells with our own DNA in it at all.

Ultimately, I think it is way too soon to start determining which of these methods will serve best, though we can acknowledge the power of ethical values and the objection of many people to embryonic stem cells. You might find it interesting that many popular religions actually support embryonic stem cell research, though most interpretations of Christianity do not.

Re:Is there? (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29800501)

If I've read the literature right, embryonic stem cells are, in general, readily available and easily manufactured. Also, they are the best at forming to any cell type we would want.

False. ESCs have trouble in that they differentiate _too_ much -- they are too unstable, and multiply without regulation (cancer). One of the markers used in detecting if ESCs "took" in rats is to measure tumor rates. While they theoretically have the most potential for forming different tissue types, they have the worst track record for actually behaving how we want them to.

That is to say that adult stem cells have been immensely helpful, but we think that embryonic stem cells may be better.

If that's true, then it's interesting that James Thomson, the father of modern ESC research has moved onto ASCs with IPSC. While some people may think that ESCs are "better", many of our top researchers (Thomson being of note) have changed direction to the more promising ASC line.

There are many research programs on embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and now induced pluripotent stem cells. All of these have many promising futures in science, yet only adult stem cells and IPSC are promising in the ever-so-influential and variable field of ethics/morality, especially those of fundamentalist origin.

ASCs are also the only ones that have any fruit, with IPSC being in the news most often, despite it being the youngest of the three fields that you listed.

You are correct about the easy manufacture of embryonic stem cells. Growing stem cells is actually not hard at all and you can make relatively infinite numbers from one discarded embryo.

I would like to note that there is a big difference between "stem cells" and "useful stem cells". Sure, you can take any discarded IVF leftover or abortion remains and get stem cells, but if you inject those into a patient, you will have severe tissue rejection issues. To obtain ESCs usable for treatment in a patient, the only avenue available for that is SCNT, which necessitates the destruction of one or many embryos.

For most adults, we don't have embryonic stem cells with our own DNA in it at all.

That's what SCNT solves, and why so many were anxious for the recent reversal of the Bush order to deny funding to SCNT ESC research.

Ultimately, I think it is way too soon to start determining which of these methods will serve best, though we can acknowledge the power of ethical values and the objection of many people to embryonic stem cells. You might find it interesting that many popular religions actually support embryonic stem cell research, though most interpretations of Christianity do not.

Of course the book is never closed. But there currently exist over a hundred treatments using ASC and IPSC, and (despite it being the oldest), zero treatments involving ESCs. There is no viable avenue for ESC treatments now, nor there is there any on the horizon that anyone can name. If you're the budget director for a large amount of scientific funding, at what point will you cull the fat and move on (as James Thomson has done) to things that have actually produced?

Re:Is there? (3, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781699)

is there really any reason to be against embryonic stem cells now that they can be harvested without embryo destruction, or are made from sources that would be completely discarded anyway? Really, if we could move some of the less informed political activists for less wharrgarbl we could do a lot more with both types of stem cells.

Re:Is there? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793197)

Because scientists are playing god! [dresdencodak.com]

Re:Is there? (1)

pbizannes (108226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793817)

These were not embryonic stem cells. This issue has typically been muddied to cause this confusion. They were adult stem cells. The reason to be against the use of embryonic stem cells is because they involve the death of the embryo, and contrary to popular opinion, any first-year textbook on embryology will inform you that an embryo is a human being.

What therapies have embryonic stem cells given us?,And what expectation is there for embryonic stem cells to be used in therapies? None. What therapies have adult stem cells given us? Well, it has made people with spinal injuries walk, for starters. Do a google search for: "Adult Stem Cell Grafts Help Paralyzed" for an example. If Christopher Reeve was alive today, he would have egg on his face for supporting embryonic stem cell research.

Now, with induced pluripotent stem cells being produced in vast numbers safely - just do a google search for "Scripps ipsc" - what is the point of any embryonic stem cell research? IPSCs can be generated quicker, cheaper, and by less-experienced personal (including medical doctors themselves). It has the one feature of embryonic stem cells for which they are prized - pluripotency - without the problems of embryonic stem cells - lack of sufficient genetic relationship to a patient (even with cloning, you don't get that). There is no therapeutic requirement for embryonic stem cells - and never was, by the way, as said by even James Thompson, the pioneer of embryonic stem cell research. There is no research requirement anymore with IPSCs.

So, I rephrase your question ... is there any reason to be for embryonic stem cells? I can think of a possible reason ... it gives drug companies a source that they can control. I am sure it is just a co-incidence that drug companies are spending billions on trying to influence political candidates to support embryonic stem cell research.

Re:Is there? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29799311)

It was a two sentence post and you STILL couldn't read enough of even the first sentence to realise how much you've just embarassed yourself.

That first year textbook will also tell you that embryonic stem cells are now harvested just fine without causing any harm to viable embryos and are otherwise acquired from ALREADY DISCARDED and nonviable embryos. Basically ones that would be destroyed either way.

So no, it doesn't require the destruction of an embryo any more than recycling newspaper's people have already thrown out requires the destruction of trees. But go right on ahead living in voluntary ignorance. What's next, justifying bombing an abortion clinic?

Also, it's not my question, click the little button in my post that says "parent".

Citation needed (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29800051)

Okay, I'll bite.

That first year textbook will also tell you that embryonic stem cells are now harvested just fine without causing any harm to viable embryos

Citation please. Maybe it's because IANA cell biologist, but I am not aware of any mechanism outside of SCNT that provides an avenue for ESC treatment that wouldn't result in severe tissue rejection by the patient.

Are you hinging the weight of your statement here on "viable"? If so, how is a SCNT embryo not "viable"? If so, those embryos are quite viable, and the usefulness of the stem cells largely depends on their viability. Who wants to take stem cells to cure a disease if the stem cell has bigger problems? I mean, seriously -- whole companies are founded based on cloning dead pets through SCNT. Your statement is false, and you're spreading mis-information. Citation, please.

and are otherwise acquired from ALREADY DISCARDED and nonviable embryos

You word this as if it's such a slam dunk. If it's a point not worth debating, then would any reasonable person object to the non-consentual harvesting of organs from death-row criminals? I mean, they're already discarded anyways.

So no, it doesn't require the destruction of an embryo any more than recycling newspaper's people have already thrown out requires the destruction of trees.

So what happens if you run out of newspapers? You give a faulty analogy, because newspapers are fairly common -- IVF leftovers, while they do have a surplus supply of tens of thousands, is a supply that has built up over the last thirty years. And as we have gotten better at IVF, we create and save fewer and fewer embryos with every treatment. If ESC with SCNT reaches the point of actually having a viable treatment available, we would burn through our IVF reserves incredibly quickly. A simple look at the numbers will show you that the demand for embryos will far outstrip the supply, and we will have to start farming human eggs.

All that to say, I'll call your bluff. Citations, please.

Re:Citation needed (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29800117)

surplus supply of tens of thousands

Sorry, that should be "hundreds of thousands". An order of magnitude doesn't solve the problem, and the point still stands.

Re:Citation needed (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29801817)

If you're going to troll this obviously (Outstrip the supply? Of something that reproduces indefinately in a lab? REALLY?) you can go spend 3 minutes on google inbetween ad hominems.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22594571/ [msn.com]
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1017/p02s01-ussc.html [csmonitor.com]

Here's some random starter articles just from 30 seconds on google. My citation is "GO fucking google it", i'm not your nanny. You're supposedly an adult, put some of that to use and actually research something instead of expecting everyone to hand it to you on a silver platter even when you bring nothing to the table but "I disagree, you are a liar!" without any proof yourself.

Re:Is there? (5, Interesting)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781701)

The question of whether we can do "just about everything with adult stem cells" is still quite open.

Could we get more funding dedicated to stem cells if we required that it all be used for adult stem cell research? Yes. Would that accelerate the overall pace of advances in stem cell research? Quite possibly not. There are two different games right now: the first is to see what we can do with stem cells (this is largely being done with embryonic stem cells). The second is to see how we can make adult stem cells behave like embryonic stem cells. The second game feeds back into the first. Indeed, if we get good enough at the second, we will no longer need embryonic stem cells, and we can then focus all of our energies on seeing what we can do.

If and when we get really good at extracting or reprogramming adult cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, we will also have the side benefit of not having to worry about alloimunity (tissue rejection). For example, in the particular case being discussed here, the fear of alloimmunity was probably a key reason for making the effort to use the patient's own cells. In the meantime, from a scientific perspective, it is prudent to continue to invest in both embryonic stem cells and in research towards no longer needing embryos from which to harvest these cells.

Re:Is there? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29786199)

Good point.

While I'm not a stem cell researcher, I dare to make a guess anyway:
Embryonic stem cells will keep their place in research, but medicine will gradually move towards adult stem cells from the patient. Partly because of alloimmunity concerns, partly because cells from the patient are more readily available. Especially fat cells, most people in the west can afford to give up a few pounds of fat for harvesting stem cells from ;-)

Re:Is there? (0, Offtopic)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781709)

I was thinking it might actually be beneficial if we could unite scientists to give up on embryonic stem cells completely. Sure we would be giving up on possibly a good amount of useful science for no ethical reason.

But if we did so we could have a new campaign saying the right wing won lets and we are never going to kill fetuses or w/e it is they think. And the same time promote this fancy new stemcell that comes from your own body. It would be a media frenzy that maybe gets the right on board enough for Fox to ok it. Hopefully getting funding from both sides in the process.

Re:Is there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781729)

I have a feeling that we'll get a few people who were against embryonic stem cell research saying that because they were against embryonic, adult stem cell research flourished and thus they should be seen as something good for the scientific community.

Ugh.

Anyway, what I'm really impressed at is that this is an interesting story which appears to already have jumped through most of the hoops*, allowing it to be put on the market fairly soon. Compared to those stories about "Innovative new theory takes first steps!" which would at best be approved 40 years from now this is far more exciting.

*Note that I assume it's jumped through the hoops because there's been human testing that's been checked for a period of time to make sure it won't be rejected.

Re:Is there? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782121)

Is there really a use now for embryonic stem cells now that we can do just about everything with adult stem cells?

There are. Basic research on cell biology for one. One of the best ways to study how a cell commits to whatever fate it's going to take, and maybe find ways of correcting that when it goes wrong, is to study the actual cells. Another is studying how to turn one cell into another, again by studying how cells do it normally.

One of the successes of ESC research is induced pluripotent stem cells [wikipedia.org] . They were first made based off work done in embryonic stem cells. It looks like IPSC is going to be the technology that will allow us to replace tissues as needed, not ESC, but that might turn out not to be the case. With no cell technology having proven itself capable of replacing every tissue in patients without causing cancer or other problems, the race isn't over, and we should avoid the temptation to call it too early.

Re:Is there? (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793331)

Is there really a use now for embryonic stem cells now that we can do just about everything with adult stem cells?

There are. Basic research on cell biology for one. One of the best ways to study how a cell commits to whatever fate it's going to take, and maybe find ways of correcting that when it goes wrong, is to study the actual cells. Another is studying how to turn one cell into another, again by studying how cells do it normally.

I think by "use", he was talking about treatment uses, not just biological study.

One of the successes of ESC research is induced pluripotent stem cells [wikipedia.org] . They were first made based off work done in embryonic stem cells.

Definitely -- but let the record show that this pioneering IPSC research was done with mice, not with humans. I think we're really in a great place right now -- for human treatment, we can use IPSC, and for destructive research, we can use non-human life.

It looks like IPSC is going to be the technology that will allow us to replace tissues as needed, not ESC, but that might turn out not to be the case. With no cell technology having proven itself capable of replacing every tissue in patients without causing cancer or other problems, the race isn't over, and we should avoid the temptation to call it too early.

Now you're talking about treatment, rather than research? Even if we solve the problems of tissue rejection through a foreign ESC donor, where is one supposed to get enough donated human eggs to make this a viable avenue of treatment? If anyone is still holding onto the idea of ESC providing widespread treatment, I don't think that they're opening their eyes to the reality of the oncoming brick wall that there simply would never be enough donor embryos. Some of our greatest minds and heroes of pioneering ESC research (James Thomson being one such example) have left ESC for the more promising fields of IPSC.

I'll say my thesis succinctly. Destructive human embryonic stem cell research (as practiced today) is barbaric and unnecessary, and should not be given safe harbor in the scientific community of a civilized society.

Re:Is there? (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793523)

Sorry, "Even if we solve the problems of tissue rejection" should be "Unless we solve the problems of tissue rejection" -- it was meant as a somewhat ridiculous thing to imagine in the near-term.

Fat head. (1, Funny)

schlick (73861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781631)

Now he really has a "fat head"

"To create the new bones...the medical team used a combination of fat-derived stem cells..."

Need more bone. (1)

Gen. Malaise (530798) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781647)

" The technique, should it be approved for widespread use, could benefit some seven million people in the US who need more bone" Isnt that what those Ashly Madison commercials have been about?

Re:Need more bone. (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781705)

I think we have too many big-boned girls already...

Re:Need more bone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29783683)

"You're fat"
- "No I'm just big-boned"

(does operation)

- "Now I'm just big-boned"

Re:Need more bone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781841)

seven million people in the US who need more bone

I didn't know there were that many nymphomaniacs in the US.

Call the Doctor! (1)

MuscaDomestica (764805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781685)

Adipose Industries is acting up again!

Skele-gro (1)

cadience (770683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781707)

Hmmm just like Skele-gro from Harry potter. Adds another check-mark for the old contra: "Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

I'm not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781761)

I'm not fat! I'm just big boned!

Bone tissue vs bones (2, Interesting)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781803)

The surgeons had to build the shape and structure of the desired bone, the scaffolding, from cadaver femur bone tissue.

From the popular media I've been lead to believe the promise of stem cells the ability to grow specific bones, tissues, and organs, using information encoded in the cells, rather than just growing the generic tissue and shaping it artificially.

What needs to happen for us to go from growing cheek bone tissue around scaffolding, to implanting stem cells and instructing them to build cheek bones?

Re:Bone tissue vs bones (2, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781903)

"a whole lot" the idea of programing cells to multiply and construct a particular organ/bone/body part, is FAR beyond what they have done here. for one thing, you have to be able to program cells that don't exist yet, to recognize when they are the the last ones in the part, and not to multiply again. in addition, some parts of the body part are not exactly the same as others. say you are growing a heart. the cells in the heart walls, are not going to be exactly like the cells in the heart valves. programing a few cells to start multiplying, and create these different subsets of cells, and not simply have a runaway replication issue where the cells divide and divide and make 6 heart like blobs stuck to each-other are far beyond anything we have accomplished so far. Yes, its a nice fantasy, but for now, we are stuck with creating scaffolding to guide the process, and in its present situation, its more like building a mold, and having the cells fill it.

Re:Bone tissue vs bones (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781943)

What needs to happen for us to go from growing cheek bone tissue around scaffolding, to implanting stem cells and instructing them to build cheek bones?

It may actually turn out to be impossible to do the latter without scaffolding. The problem is that when the fetus develops, everything grows at predetermined rates that fit with everything else that is going on in the fetus. When you're trying to grow a cheek bone on an adult, you're growing tissue out of sequence and off schedule. You can no longer count on whatever queues the body uses during the fetus development stage. They might still work, but that's unlikely in my view. In fact, I'd say that the need to use scaffolding now indicates that it probably wouldn't work. In my view, there's probably not that much difference between growing bone tissue now and using stem cells to start the process.

Re:Bone tissue vs bones (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782621)

I'd disagree. It's a daily thing for humans to do things that were 'impossible' even a few years ago. Someone may discover the queues a fetus uses someone else may figure out a way to restrict those queues to only be received by specific tissues. Those two discoveries would get around your scenario. I personally believe it will be very complex and I don't think it'll be anytime soon, but there is nothing about the procedure of growing specific tissues at specific locations that I'd call impossible. This isn't scientists talking about other dimensions that only exist in the realm of mathematics. This is a real physical thing that we *know* occurs in nature. Multiple creatures experience regenerative qualities which are exactly what we're talking about here. Nature does it every day, we just need to find that method or an alternative one to accomplish the same task. Its only a question of time.

Re:Bone tissue vs bones (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784083)

Ok, let me rephrase that then. Using some sort of scaffolding (which appears to be precisely the "alternative" you refer to) just seems to me to be a lot less work, something like the difference between a light switch and a Rube Goldberg mechanism for turning the lights off. How would you determine that the body part has grown in correctly and has the correct shape and features?

Another success. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781811)

Tell me again why we need embryonic stem cells.

LK

Re:Another success. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29781871)

In order to fight climate change and cut down on the number of useless eaters we need to create a market for aborted fetuses.

Easy question (0, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781875)

The same two reasons they were always needed:

1. For people in the embryonic stem cell research business to cash in using government money.
2. As a political wedge issue. Embryonic stem cells are needed in order to portray anyone religious (or anyone else who values human life before birth) as standing between the diseased and their inevitable cures.

They need to keep telling the story about the miracle cure that's always only a few years away in order to get out the votes, raise funds, spread hatred, marginalize religious minorities, and get the government to write them checks to fund it all again next election.

Re:Easy question (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29785377)

You are exactly right. I just like reminding people.

LK

Re:Another success. (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781929)

At the least, we need to know if we can replicate fully the features and functions of embryonic stem cells. We'll need embryonic stem cells for that purpose alone. If adult stem cells don't work completely like embryonic stem cells, that means that we may need a supply of embryonic stem cells indefinitely as well.

Re:Another success. (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793597)

For the "ESCs are good worth it for the sake of research" argument, it's helpful to remember that just about all functional ESC research can be done with non-human life, and that many of our pioneering ESC researchers have abandoned ESCs in favor of IPSC.

Re:Another success. (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782133)

Tell me again why we need embryonic stem cells.

Tell me again why you're asking on slashdot instead of reading a scientific paper on the benefits of ESC research? Tell me you don't rely on /. comments for ALL your information on important subjects of the day.

Re:Another success. (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784909)

Mod parent up please? Too many people depend on random internet comments to form their opinions instead of doing their own research, allowing them to become what I call "Lazy-boy experts." These people know very little but think every answer they have is the right one.

Re:Another success. (0, Troll)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29785353)

Tell me again why you're asking on slashdot instead of reading a scientific paper on the benefits of ESC research?

To illustrate a point, you stupid ass.

Tell me you don't rely on /. comments for ALL your information on important subjects of the day.

I'm sorry, if you need someone to explain it all to you, you'll never be caught up.

LK

Re:Another success. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29785623)

To illustrate a point, you stupid ass.

I realize that, your point being "I'm immature but I know I'm right and everyone who disagrees with me on anything is stupid." You've extended that point well with this post.

Re:Another success. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29785785)

Disagreeing with me isn't what makes you stupid. Your inability to see the obvious irony is.

LK

Re:Another success. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793683)

*mutters* I will not feed trolls, I will not feed trolls....

You... don't seem to understand what Irony is. A success using stem cells derived from fat is in no way ironic, even up against people who claim that embryonic stem cells are needed. You might be asking a rhetorical question; coupled with the obvious ellipsis in your statement, you could be asking people to consider the morality/ethics of using embryonic stem cells when here's an example of stem cells from an alternate source working, but it's in no way ironic. In order for it to have any trace of irony, you'd have to be speaking one thing while saying something else. For example, your calling him stupid is quite ironic, in my not so humble opinion.

Re:Another success. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29794705)

A success using stem cells derived from fat is in no way ironic, even up against people who claim that embryonic stem cells are needed.

A single success would not be ironic. Another success in a long string of successes when compared to a complete and total lack of success from embryonic stem cells, however, is.

LK

Re:Another success. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29795029)

A single success would not be ironic. Another success in a long string of successes when compared to a complete and total lack of success from embryonic stem cells, however, is.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

There is no irony at all in that. It is perhaps damning evidence against embryonic stem cells (which, incidentally, have not suffered a "complete and total" lack of success), and it is perhaps evidence that we should be looking more thoroughly at induced and adult stem cells for research (principally of interest for those who don't already have ethical and moral objections to using embryonic cells), but that's not ironic.

Quite aside from that, if it were not for the benefits derived from embryonic stem cell research, and the moral/ethical objections to ESC use, then scientists never would have been looking for a way to induce stem cells from adult tissue. In an indirect way, this very result we've been discussing is a result of embryonic stem cell research. Keeping in mind that you're using it as an argument against embryonic stem cell research, *that* is ironic. But it's the only irony I can find in the situation, and it's tenuous at best, because as near as I can tell, you're not arguing that we never should have engaged in ESC research to begin with, just that we've found some alternatives and shouldn't be continuing with it.

Re:Another success. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29795497)

Your inability to see something doesn't mean that it's not there.

LK

Re:Another success. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29798887)

Although your inability to actually demonstrate its presence (beyond saying "you're stupid if you can't see it") is rather telling. So please, indulge me. Exactly how is that situation ironic [wikipedia.org] ?

Because quite honestly, the most obvious irony here is your insistence that because I can't see the irony, I must be stupid. ... I blame Alanis Morisette. The only thing about that song that was actually ironic was that the song had nothing to do with irony.

Re:Another success. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29800165)

_sigh_

This is just like when you have to explain a joke to someone. If they didn't get it the first time around, they won't get it after you explain it.

From the beginning of the wikipedia article...
Irony (from the Ancient Greek eirneía, meaning hypocrisy, deception, or feigned ignorance) is a situation, literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity, discordance or unintended connection that goes beyond the most evident meaning.

Here we are in an environment where it's accepted as common knowledge that embryonic stem cells are a panacea. They hold the secret of life everlasting and the cure to all of mankinds ailments. Yet, all of the advances are being made with adult stem cells.

I'm sure that you won't understand. Perhaps your ignorance isn't feigned after all. In which case, your argument becomes stronger. It's not ironic because you're not pretending to be stupid, but you actually are stupid.

LK

Re:Another success. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29800531)

Here we are in an environment where it's accepted as common knowledge that embryonic stem cells are a panacea. They hold the secret of life everlasting and the cure to all of mankinds ailments. Yet, all of the advances are being made with adult stem cells.

Your first premise is false. I cite myself as a counter-example. I, like many others, do not believe that embryonic stem cells are a panacea. I believe that they are an important key to a broad field of study. There is no single panacea, and there probably never will be one.

Your second assertion is also false, as can be proven by a quick Google search [google.ca] . As is quite clear, while many breakthroughs are being made using adult and induced stem cells, there are still breakthroughs happening with embryonic stem cells, and the main reason that more are happening with adult and induced types is because in many jurisdictions the use of embryonic stem cells is illegal for moral/ethical reasons. In other words, more's happening with adult and induced stem cells because *gasp* more people are doing studies and experiments involving them. However, despite your assertion, breakthroughs involving embryonic stem cells are still happening.

I'm sure that you won't understand. Perhaps your ignorance isn't feigned after all. In which case, your argument becomes stronger. It's not ironic because you're not pretending to be stupid, but you actually are stupid.

So going back to my original statement, the only irony here is your insistence that other people are stupid. As you seem to have missed that point, it's because of the discordance there... you insist that other people are stupid because they can't see what's not there, and in so doing, you're actually saying that you're the one who's being stupid.

In other news, naa naa, my father can beat up your father. With that out of the way, could you possibly try to maintain some level of enlightened discourse? I know that this *is* the Internet, but theoretically Slashdot is supposed to attract the more intelligent and mature among the net denizens. (though looking at some of the trolls posting NSFW stuff, that's really not saying much)

Re:Another success. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782807)

Because its available and advances stem cell research as a whole. Once we master tissue regrowth, the parallel research of adapting adult stem cells to perform like embryonic stem cells will benefit by being able to replace aborted fetuses for stem cells (and since its the patients own tissue, ignore any rejection issues).

All the research takes us to the endgame of being able to maximize the utilization of our existing stem cells. We have to be able to 1) convert adult stem cells, and 2) know that they will grow the tissue we specify. I am all for this research, even if I am against abortion as a whole. At least those lives would not be going to waste (the same reason people donate their bodies to science after death, to provide further education that "morals" prevent during one's lifetime).

Re:Another success. (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793485)

Uhm, citation please? How in the world can someone use aborted fetuses for stem cell treatment without extremely severe tissue rejection issues? Last I heard, that sort of stuff hadn't been done since the 90's, and hasn't been repeated since.

All of the arguments that you gave supporting ESCs in the name of research are satisfied by using animal life, rather than human life.

Great possibilities for dental repair (4, Interesting)

jnelson4765 (845296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781865)

This technique will be a great boon for people with a massive amount of dental damage - where the jaw has been eaten away from disease, or injury has made it impossible to even use dentures. It'll likely be expensive for a long time, but for people who are facing a life of eating through a straw, and having massive facial deformities, this would be a huge change in their lives.

Re:Great possibilities for dental repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782517)

If they have health insurance with a company willing to pay for the procedure.

Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29782287)

Say good bye to this sort of innovation when we have government health care.

Re:Too bad... (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783315)

What? Having the medical market effectively subsidized by government will not reduce the money to be made in the market, it will increase it. If there's anyone to profit from the reform, it's the medical industry. You'll pay more for it in the end, but that very fact means that the medical industry will make more money from it, and therefore will have more incentive to develop it.

Old news? (1)

xkr47 (40697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783199)

Jaw bone replacement from stem cells was done in Finland already two years ago, although I am not able to comment on the procedure itself..

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fi&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsuomenkuvalehti.fi%2Fjutut%2Fterveys-ja-tiede%2Freino-leisti-sai-kantasoluista-kasvatetun-uuden-ylaleuan [google.com]

Re:Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29792047)

The procedure was similar, they used the patients own cells grown from another tissue type (might have been adipose?). The guy in the article was not the only one, there was a woman with replaced half lower jaw.

The documentary was in the TV in Finnland less than a year ago. The whole project is a joint effort between Tampere University Hospital and Huddinge in Sweden.

The next step, according to the interviewed doctor, was to start thinking about implanting new teeth to the jaw bone. Amongst others, Professor Irma Thesleff has been working with this issue in the University of Helsinki. Too lazy to provide links, you'll find her easy enough.

Cheers.

So when do the donor centers open? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783525)

I suspect a lot of us on /. could contribute.

Once again (1)

TheNormal (1499911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29783655)

Once again another non-embryonic stem cell cure. Adult stem cells: 458, Embryonic stem cells: zip.

Damaged fingers (1)

gTsiros (205624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29784279)

How far are they from growing me the last phalanx that i lost in an accident? Sorry, i'm on my cellphone

Re:Damaged fingers (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793537)

If you want to grow some phalanxes, I suggest that you join a group that reenacts ancient greek military tactics, or you start playing Civilization.

If you want to regrow some phalanges, that's another story. Have you considered prosthetics?

Precocious FAIL. (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29793639)

Phalanges is the plural of phalanx. [1] [wikipedia.org]

Re:Precocious FAIL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29793841)

*whoosh*

Before and after photos (1)

peipas (809350) | more than 4 years ago | (#29789973)

Here are before and after photos [cincinnatichildrens.org] of the teen.

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