August 28, 2008

Put Your Money (and Teeth) Where Your Mouth Is

I saw this link on my friend Ben's blog and thought I'd put it up here by way of interest. Maybe the tooth fairy can start doing even more with our teeth than we thought.

Japanese scientists create stem cells from wisdom teeth

A team of scientists in Japan have devised a method of creating stem cells from wisdom teeth that would otherwise have been discarded, enabling them to seek cures to diseases without the controversy inherent in using embryos.

"I hope this will prove to be a major breakthrough," said Dr Hajime Ogushi, from his Osaka laboratory of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

Dr Ogushi's team was able to extract dental pulp from wisdom teeth removed from a 10-year-old girl three years ago and had been stored in a freezer. From that, stem cells with the ability to develop into replacement human organs or nerves can be grown.

To date, research on stem cells taken from human foetuses has attracted criticism, notably from the Vatican, for destroying human life.

The research has been seeking cures to a range of illnesses, including diabetes and cancer.

"These teeth were extracted three years ago and would have simply been thrown in the rubbish," said. Dr Ogushi. "Skin or bone marrow for this sort of research is quite difficult to obtain but this sort of operation is routine and very straightforward."

The cells were extracted from the wisdom teeth and encouraged to develop for a period of 35 days. Tests then confirmed they were in fact stem cells.

Dr Oguchi added that it is also easy to store the cells and he plans to develop a tissue bank - as long as the funding is forthcoming. He estimates that will take a decade to achieve, but will give future scientists a range of genetic codes that can be matched to a patient to minimise the risk of transplanted organs of tissue being rejected.

Dr Ogushi said that people who have their wisdom teeth removed as youngsters could have them frozen and use them later in life for treatment.


At 9:35 PM, Blogger The Lj's said...

man... we should have frozen LJ's as opposed to displaying them on the fridge!

At 9:50 AM, Blogger NandL said...

You have been *BUZZ*ed. Consider this your official warning. Even though I often don't know what to say, I want to let you know that I stop by every so often (translate as almost every day! hahaha!). Think I'll try to BUZZ you from time to time just so you know I DO read your blog! ^-^
Laura H...
P.S. Very interesting article... ^-^

At 10:26 AM, Blogger NandL said...

You guys ok?

At 7:43 AM, Blogger NandL said...

Merry Christmas, guys! (a little eary...)
Laura H...

At 5:13 PM, Blogger NandL said...

ok, Happy New Year (a little earLy...) haha!
Laura H...


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