Tumor-free Brain Cells Created from Urine

Sometimes it is interesting to find out what really motivates scientists to study even wastes from humans and then come up with major findings that might never even have been thought of in the past. Who would have thought that brain cells can be developed from urine? But this is what the latest scientific research proves and renders tenable.

The research was conducted in China, at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health. From urine samples, waste cells were extracted and, through the aid of retroviruses, were modified to produce progenitor cells, the brain cells’ building blocks. What’s even more interesting is that further tests conducted on mice showed that the newly developed neurons or brain nerve cells do not cause tumors unlike the embryonic stem cells which were used in the past.

Besides being tumor-free, urine is also readily available and since the urine that will be turned into neurons will come from the very person who needs them, the chance that these will be accepted by the person’s system is much higher.

The present way by which cells are reproduced is through the reprogramming of blood cells2 and cultured skin inside induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Such materials, however, are less available compared to urine. The researchers also discovered that the urine’s kidney epithelial cells content could be turned into iPS cells3 (iPS cells play an important role in the study of autism spectrum disorders and neurogenetic diseases).

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