This development was certainly imagined when stem cells were discovered but now they seem to be able to bravely try it all out. It really pretty exciting stuff for the human race.
Logically, any organ can be replaced by the expedient of using one’s own original organ as a scaffold. It does not cure cancer, or at least not yet, but it allows removal and restoration as a future option.
Considering the endemic nature of diabetic issues, been able to restore natural insulin function is a certain priority in the near term.
The present question is how efficious this all is and I think that we are about to find out. It seems that if we can bathe damaged heart cells with a flood of stem cells and displace scar tissue that we are onto something.
Recall that natural scar tissue slowly reverts over time to the original tissue. It takes most of a lifetime unfortunately so does not do much immediate good to the victim of damage. I think that a heart attack damaged heart will naturally recover thirty percent of the loss of function over a couple of years. This is all very good except that there is little improvement thereafter and certainly because the body is no longer stimulating the arrival of stem cells.
There may be something to this. Dawn age reptiles never really quit growing and thus seem to avoid classic old age. Whether that is true or not is another issue. However supercharging stem cells into the body would stimulate something and doing so may be something that we can stimulate the body to do naturally.
It is possible though that we evolved into organisms that have out stripped our ability to produce stem cells. In short we simply have metabolisms that operate far to fast to be able to replace all the damage as needed unlike the above mentioned reptiles. Thus creating a mechanism that takes up the slack may be a way to bring the human aging cycle under control and restore the possibility of biological immortality to humanity.
Conjecture: biological immortality is lost in higher life forms because the operating tempo of the metabolism greatly exceeds the stem cell production tempo.
It could be that simple and the speed of stem cell development supports it.
Man Receives His Own Stem Cells as a Treatment for Heart Failure
The first person to receive a new cardiac stem cell treatment in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration clinical trial is doing well, it was announced last week.On Friday, doctors at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, in collaboration with the nearby Jewish Hospital, issued a press release stating that one week after treatment, Mike Jones’ heart was getting stronger.Jones, whose heart tissue is permanently scarred and weakened by two previous heart attacks, suffers from congestive heart failure, a condition affecting about five million Americans each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.Currently, two treatment options predominate for patients with heart failure, said Mark Slaughter, a cardiovascular surgeon who aided in the trial. A person can receive a heart transplant or a mechanically assisted heart device.The new approach, using a patient’s adult stem cells to regenerate healthy heart tissue, is currently in phase I clinical trials to test for safety. The procedure consists of removing healthy heart tissue from the patient, purifying the stem cells from the material, and allowing the stem cell population to grow.
Once ready, the stem cells are reintroduced into the scarred region of the heart using a minimally invasive technique.Since the re-injection of his own stem cells on July 17, Jones’ heart has increased its ability to pump blood by about 5 percent. Jones commented in the University of Louisville School of Medicine press release that he felt so good he might “even start jogging again.” The doctors will continue monitoring Jones every few months for the next two years to measure his recovery.
There are currently 13 more patients going through the phase I trial, and the researchers hope to eventually test a total of 20 patients.Last month, a group at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles made news with a similar technique that was undergoing clinical trials. Instead of using purified stem cells, the group is using a mixture of cells, including stem cells, to regenerate heart tissue. Ken Miles, the first patient to receive the treatment, told CBS’s The Early Show that he “feels great.”