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Brain Cells Made From Urine

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the potty-mind dept.

Biotech 116

Press2ToContinue writes "Scientists have found a relatively straightforward way to persuade the cells discarded in human urine to turn into valuable neurons. The technique, described online in a study in Nature Methods this week (abstract), does not involve embryonic stem cells. These come with serious drawbacks when transplanted, such as the risk of developing tumors. Instead, the method uses ordinary cells present in urine, and transforms them into neural progenitor cells — the precursors of brain cells. Researchers routinely reprogram cultured skin and blood cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, which can go on to form any cell in the body. But urine is a much more accessible source."

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116 comments

Summing up... (5, Funny)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42239845)

The future might include pee brains in addition to pea brains.

Re:Summing up... (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#42239851)

No problem. Us Aussies have always been piss-heads.

Re:Summing up... (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42240093)

I guess those golden shower perverts were on to something after all.

Re:Summing up... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240415)

I hear that you have to consume a quantity of beer before the procedure, to up the number of dead brain cells in your urine.

It's a bright future. (5, Funny)

klingers48 (968406) | about a year ago | (#42239919)

Where "getting pissed" means an injection of new brain cells, not killing the ones you already have.

Re:Summing up... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239927)

and p-branes!

Re:Summing up... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240127)

good lord man.

Get the fuck out right now.

Re:Summing up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240083)

The future might include pee brains in addition to pea brains.

P for politician?

Re:Summing up... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240189)

The future might include pee brains in addition to pea brains.

P for politician?

Yes, politicians, now we can make them smarter by peeing in their heads.

Re:Summing up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240457)

The future might include pee brains in addition to pea brains.

P for politician?

And le sueur for pea.

Re:Summing up... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42240581)

The future might include pee brains in addition to pea brains.

That's nothing... see when they'll come with dung-heads.

Not good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241819)

Talk about a brain that will make some piss poor decisions.

Doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239847)

I just pissed myself stupid.

Piss for brains? (1)

george14215 (929657) | about a year ago | (#42239849)

Sorry that's all I've got...

Re:Piss for brains? (4, Funny)

edelbrp (62429) | about a year ago | (#42239969)

Don't joke! It leaves us only an inch away from shit for brains.

Re:Piss for brains? (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year ago | (#42240945)

An inch? For females, right? Come on!

Re:Piss for brains? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241539)

An inch? For females, right? Come on!

Naturally, you never took any science courses while attending one of the largest publicly-funded research universities in North America. If you did, you would know that urine and feces come within an inch of each other in both males and females.

What exactly did you study at the university, after all? Youtube didn't even exist yet, so you couldn't have spent all your time watching youtube videos of your church leader like you do now, and you obviously did not successfully study economics (or even basic math) either.

Re:Piss for brains? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241961)

Might leave you only one inch away, but for me it's about eight.

Re:Piss for brains? (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42242019)

Not to step on the joke, but while your feces do have a lot of your cells in them, they're mostly dead cells which would be useless for induced pluripotency. Furthermore, I've heard it's about one third bacteria, so you'd have contamination problems. Urine, on the other hand, is much more sterile and free from bacteria, and it would presumably be much easier to spin down urine and collect living cells than it would be to separate cells out from feces.

Most importantly, the reason they were using urine was not to make brain cells from weird places, they had previously discovered that kidney cells took much less time to turn pluripotent than some other cell types, such as skin cells. I'd assume that colon cells wouldn't have this advantage even if you did isolate them living from poop. And I'm not going to test that hypothesis either...

So then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239857)

"Shit for brains" isn't really that far from true.

Woe betide the people who benefit from this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239863)

... as they will be known as... pee brains!

Well, woman have always accused me... (5, Funny)

Ardx (954221) | about a year ago | (#42239865)

...of thinking with my penis. Guess who's just got the last laugh now?

Re:Well, woman have always accused me... (0)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#42240145)

Rather, this just validates a simple truth: My penis thinks for me, and I'm OK with that,

(Disclaimer: I'm married, and have been for darn near a decade, and we understand that her penis is larger than mine -- even if hers cannot be seen. Furthermore, she doesn't care where my penis goes, while also encouraging it to go places it has not yet been. YMM unfortunately V...)

Re:Well, woman have always accused me... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240277)

Wow. This went from a rather cheerful and funny discussion about pee brains to a rather disturbing self-gratifying statement on your penis going places its never gone before, like Spock and Kirk in a dark place.

Re:Well, woman have always accused me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241229)

I'm pretty sure he's talking about getting STDs.

I am pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239881)

Trepanation. Urination. Weeeeeeee.

The circle is now complete. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239883)

Alcohol kills brain cells. Beer makes you pee. Finally, we're close to making this a zero-sum game. Cheers!

Piss for brain ? (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#42239935)

This sounds wrong. But I'm shuddering to think what step #2 might be

Re:Piss for brain ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240213)

This sounds wrong. But I'm shuddering to think what step #2 might be

That's the part where you shudder your penis after pissing into the scientist's bowl.

Re:Piss for brain ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240439)

This sounds wrong. But I'm shuddering to think what step #2 might be

That's the part where you shudder your penis after pissing into the scientist's bowl.

We use beakers you insensitive clod.

Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239957)

A dictionary couldn't give meaning to your pathetic life you piss for brains!

Free as in beer (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#42239961)

So now brain cells can be free as in beer too...

Re:Free as in beer (2)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#42240691)

I want to see Mr. PeeBrain, run on a single AA battery. You take Mr. PeeBrain into the bar, and down a few pints. Plug in Mr. PeeBrain (discreetly, of course), and whallah, any brain cells you lost to the alcohol in the beer have now been replaced by New and Improved brain cells automatically reinjected into your brain.

Awesome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239997)

Now instead of telling women that semen is good for them, I can tell them that my urine helps build new brain cells. I will turn my girlfriends into human toilets!

MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

I'm pissing! FOR SCIENCE! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240025)

...so where I can sign up to sell my urine now?

v2 will be shit for brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240059)

Why not?

Changing Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240067)

Now I'll know my teachers were actually being optimistic when they called me a piss head.

Jokes aside (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240099)

How long before humans become nearly valueless because our components can be assembled from raw materials?

A human is the definition of "conscious" away from being worth as much as the atoms that put us together. I'm as big a fan of urine-brain jokes as the next guy, but for the sake of individuality let's all hope the theory of emergent consciousness is so much horseshit, yeah? Otherwise, you might very well be worth less than your weight in printer ink.

Re:Jokes aside (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42242497)

Heck, do you know how much your weight in printer ink would cost???

A cursory examination of current retail prices at nation-wide computer and electronics stores, and then working out the cost per unit of weight brings it to around $45 per ounce. That makes the average adult worth over $100,000!

Are you taking the piss? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240157)

Like, literally?

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Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240237)

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Bear Grylls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240239)

Does this make Bear Grylls a zombie because he drinks his own urine?

What could we do with mass-produced neurons? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240349)

If this is for real, it may provide a (relatively) cheap source of neurons for biotech industry research.
Mass-production may be feasible once there is a product to industrialize.
Anybody know what's cooking on the bio-chips front nowadays?

And the Lord said.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240443)

...
42. ...Thou shall not take of the piss that thou'st passeth after a heavy night at the inn and make of it an addition to thine body, or use it to adorn thyself, or for any medical purpose whatsoever.

43. For the Lord thy God is a fastidious god, and does not like to see people messing around with things that are iccky. Nor does he want to give an opportunity for the unbelievers of Phillistine and Gath to make stupid puns about 'taking the piss'. Thine body is made in the image of the Lord, and if He had wanted you to employ the spillings of thy loins to improve thy brain, he would have made thy member long enough to place in thine ear. Nor yet shall ye retain this water in any kind of receptacle, lest ye be tempted by Satan to do what is unclean, but ye shall cast it out onto unshriven ground, where the dogs may smell it as they please.

44. And Abraham spoke and said unto the Lord: "Lo, thy words are as a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. But what shall our brethren do if they are caught short at a party and cannot reach a station of comfort? Or, as it may be, some of thy handmaidens are already in there and taking their time about coming out?

45. Then the Lord waxed exceeding wroth, and swore at Abraham, saying "Thou dissembler! It is not for the likes of thee to question my instructions! Should you try to catch out the Lord thy God again, thy throat will catch fire, and not one of thy tribe shall be found who may pee in your mouth....

from the third Book of Emissions (Golden Showers edition)..

Re:And the Lord said.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241239)

Er... this is for the Baptist southern states, right..? You're giving them a useful religious reference so that they can ban this technology before it starts?

So, can you give me a reference for this document? Looks like it may have a lot of other interesting stuff in it...

Wisdom In The Ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240589)

Where I come from, people with, um, lower than expected levels of smarts are described as having "piss for brains..." Looks like they're the ones who'll be having the last laugh

Peepun (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year ago | (#42240641)

Every post I can currently see is a pun. Every. Single. One. What have you done OP? What have you done!?

Re:Peepun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42242045)

Every post I can currently see is a pun. Every. Single. One. What have you done OP? What have you done!?

Indeed. I came here with exactly one mod point remaining, and there's not a single post worthy of an up-vote IMO.

Skynet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240655)

On December 21 in 2012 it gained self-awareness, and it was pissed.

Good job they ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240669)

... didn't make it out of faeces, because that would've been a shit idea :)

Well, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240703)

Does that mean those "I piss excellence" t-shirts might actually be taken literally from now on?

Urine therapy no longer pseudocience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240759)

Urine therapy no longer pseudocience, now has cientific method backup. Well it's more complex than tricksters preach. That really piss my mind.

In all seriousness... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#42240799)

....when your brain trauma or spinal cord injury is repaired by this method, how can you possibly be pissed off?

A nice excuse to drink more beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42240897)

Thus drinking beer can actually produce more brain cells.

Cheers!

I'm god's present to pharmacy! (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#42240927)

After the revelation that stuff in semen halts aging, now stuff in piss creates brain cells.

Ladies, here's proof, anything coming out of my dick is good for you!

Re:I'm god's present to pharmacy! (2)

meetpi (2776369) | about a year ago | (#42240983)

Ladies, here's proof, anything coming out of my dick is good for you!

*crickets*

Re:I'm god's present to pharmacy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42242825)

Crickets are coming out of your dick? Sounds painful, you should get that checked!

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241017)

Salvation for those who feel we have pissed away our education. It can be recovered!

Back up a sec ... embryonic stem cells can ... (1)

fygment (444210) | about a year ago | (#42241071)

turn in to tumors?! And that's a known hazard?? That's a bit of info I never read in all the articles I've seen here that are 'pro' embryonic stem cell research/use.

Re:Back up a sec ... embryonic stem cells can ... (2)

deathlyslow (514135) | about a year ago | (#42241347)

They can turn into almost any other cell so why not. All a tumor is is a bunch of otherwise normal cells gone wacko.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241099)

This seems to be a really piss-poor idea.

Their next project of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241237)

Shit for Brains

So that means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241629)

... every time I take a piss it's brain drain?

Urine used for new brain cells? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42241651)

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/214/182/grylls.jpg?1323320727

Better think my own piss.

Showing promise so far (2)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year ago | (#42241923)

Granted, they've only been able to create a Youtube commenter as of yet, but there's still a lot of untapped potential.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42242215)

The most important thing everyone is missing is the researcher involved with this his name is "Pei," and I know it's pronounced "Pay" with a long A, but it does look like "Pee," or if we just use his last initial. But not matter what I really do think this is cool stuff.

Somebody is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42242391)

....taking the piss

Just (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42242619)

Wow.. 92 comments and so far not one about the reported science. Slashdot's maturity level has me gobsmacked.

This bomb's about to blow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42243029)

MacGuyver: Hmm, I have a paperclip and rubber band, but no chewing gum...need to think....Quick! Someone pee on me!

Another technology only the rich can afford (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42243077)

Great. While we regular folks live our boring lives the rich can now pay to have cells filtered from their pis and turned into neurons. Who thinks this will be covered by health care insurance of any kind?

Sh*t for Brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42243111)

Kinda gives a new reality to Sh*t for Brains!

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