Adult Stem Cells Don't Work?

A very interesting study reported at EurekAlert suggests that adult stem cells are not directly responsible for regeneration in at least a few successful therapies trialed in past months and years. Instead, derived macrophage cells are fusing with local tissue to produce the observed benefits. The same benefits can be obtained by simply transplanting the macrophages instead of the adult stem cells; apparently a much easier procedure. Quoting the lead researcher, this "strongly argues against stem cell plasticity because you're not using stem cells at all" - meaning that the utility of adult stem cells and their ability to transform into other cell types is called into doubt in this case at least.



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