March 02, 2014

A New Age in Medicine

Remember Mystique from the X-Men? The one who could change into any person she wanted? Well, seems like that comic book fantasy is one step closer to reality, at least on a cellular level. Super limited cells called embryonic stem cells have already been identified as having the ability to morph into a variety of different cell types to form bones or even the brain.

Now, imagine being able to get these types of cells ON DEMAND, without having to steal a embryo. A team in Kobe, Japan (the home of Kobe beef, not Kobe Bryant), led by Haruko Obokata, have found a way to make regular white blood cells replicate these limited stem cells. Ironically,  the process is done by semi-murdering the cell in a low-oxygen environment or an acid bath aka a cellular version of DEXTER.

These stem cells can then be used to personalize treatments and cures for people suffering from heart disease, skin burns, and even blindness.

Will this really be the key to finding all those cures we’re searching for? Will this lead us to become X-Men?  A yes to either of these questions sounds good to us.


Submitted by Marcus A Smith from Amherst, Massachusetts