"We've identified a great natural resource," said Stanford surgery professor and co-author of the research, Michael Longaker, MD, who has called the readily available liposuction leftovers "liquid gold." _SD _ ImpactLab
Liposuction leftovers can be turned into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which function remarkably like embryonic stem cells (ESCs).
Nestled within this unwanted latticework of fat cells and collagen are multipotent cells called adipose, or fat, stem cells. Unlike highly specialized skin-cell fibroblasts, these cells in the fat have a relatively wide portfolio of differentiation options—becoming fat, bone or muscle as needed. It's this pre-existing flexibility, the researchers believe, that gives these cell an edge over the skin cells. _SD
Now that we know how valuable liposuction leftovers can be, it may be time to re-think our approach to obesity and overeating. Stem cells are, after all, an important key to future medical advances. Anything that may restrict access to this vital resource needs to be vigorously opposed.
Labels: adult stem cells, stem cells