Stem Cells Revisited

For years it has been the case that “Stem Cells” were black words for the religiously conservative; just like “Abortion”. But that all might change, since Japanese scientists have been able to harvest stem cells from dentally extracted wisdom teeth. It was previously discovered that stem cells could be harvested from skin, but where would we get a wealth of skin? On the other hand we discard thousands and thousands of wisdom teeth a year. Just think: in about five years it looks like we can help people without killing babies.

Japanese scientists said Friday they had derived stem cells from wisdom teeth, opening another way to study deadly diseases without the ethical controversy of using embryos.Researchers at the government-backed National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said they created stem cells of the type found in human embryos using the removed wisdom teeth of a 10-year-old girl.

“This is significant in two ways,” team leader Hajime Ogushi told AFP. “One is that we can avoid the ethical issues of stem cells because wisdom teeth are destined to be thrown away anyway.

“Also, we used teeth that had been extracted three years ago and had been preserved in a freezer. That means that it’s easy for us to stock this source of stem cells.”

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