Adult Stem Cells
August 3, 2013. Beijing.
Scientists in China just announced their success in growing human teeth inside mouse kidneys using human urine and mouse jaws.
The world’s rapidly advancing stem cell research has yielded successful results that seemed impossible only two decades ago. but growing teeth from urine is a surprise that many never expected.
Here’s how they did it.
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As detailed in their report, researchers grew what they term tooth-like structures. They began by taking human stem cells obtained from human urine and combined them with tissue from a mouse jaw taken from a mouse embryo. Like a chameleon, stem cells magically take on the form of whatever body part they’re implanted into. With that knowledge, the scientists hoped the human stem cells would produce human tissue. And since it was implanted into a mouse jaw, they gambled that the item grown would be a tooth. And they were right on both hypotheses.
Once the human stem cells were successfully implanted into the mouse jaw material, the tiny package was then implanted into the kidneys of live mice. Using mouse kidneys as growing fields for stem cell experiments is reportedly a common tactic. In fact, past stem cell experiments have accidentally grown teeth, like other experiments that accidentally grew hair. Capitalizing on those accidental findings, scientists are now attempting to do the same thing on purpose and in a controlled environment.
Once implanted into the mouse kidneys, the stem cells and jaw material only took three weeks to grow into a human tooth-like structure. The stem cells had developed into a cyst. And inside each cyst was a small tooth. Researchers admit that their success rate was only 30%. But they were more than encouraged by their results. The teeth they grew were as hard as human teeth and could even be grown to specific sizes and shapes to create the right replacement tooth for future dental patients.
The study’s numerous doctors and scientists explained that after they implanted their seed-like urine-mouse jaw combination into the mouse kidney, the stem cells slowly began erupting like a volcano. And just as volcanic lava can create an entire island, the stem cells secreted enamel, thus creating a tooth.
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