Testicles and Stem Cells

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A new study in Nature reports that cells from the testes of mice can behave like embryonic stem cells. The AP reports:

Lab tests found that the mouse cells closely mimicked the behavior of embryonic stem cells, [one of the researchers, Dr. Gerd] Hasenfuss said Friday. He said he is optimistic about finding human testicular cells that will do the same. Work has already begun on that, he said.

If such cells are found in men, "then we have resolved the ethical problem with human embryonic stem cells," he said in a telephone interview.

One side benefit is that men would have their own ready supply of immune compatible stem cells for making new tissues and repairing damaged organs.

Here's hoping this research pans out.

Disclosure: If it does work, this will play hell with my shares of Geron stock.

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  1. Here’s hoping we find a less sensitive body part to harvest stem cells from.

  2. So I’ve been harvesting for free all these years?!? Dangnabbit!

  3. What is an easier decision, whether or not an embryonic stem cell constitutes life or not, or is growing a new liver so I can drink harder worth having a needle driven into my nuts?

  4. John, just stick the needle in when you’re already drunk!

  5. So we develop a system to develop a source of stem cells for men and ban research into a similar system that could work for both men and women because of objections from the anti-abortion crowd? I look forward to the NOW press release on this.

  6. …But you might damage some sperm! After all…

    Ev-ry sperm IS sa-cred
    Ev-ry sperm is great…

  7. FXKLM-

    My guess is that people will take another look at ovaries as a source of stem cells, now that testes have been established as such. I don’t know what they’ll find, or what they’ve found in the past, but my bet is that they’ll take a second look. Despite the differences between ovaries and testes, there are enough similarities to make it worth a look.

  8. FXKLM,

    Yeah, like we don’t hear enough excrement about how medicine for women is so far behind medicine for men, when prostate cancer is still treated by a random array of almost equally ineffective treatments varying only by the severity of the side effects.

  9. Also, even if testes turn out to be the best source of adult stem cells, that’s not entirely bad news for women. A stem cell therapy with cells harvested from a brother, father, or son will still be better than a therapy with cells harvested from an unrelated embryo. No, not as good as using her own cells, but still better than cells from an unrelated embryo. Similar to how the best organ matches are (usually) relatives.

  10. He said he is optimistic about finding human testicular cells that will do the same. Work has already begun on that, he said.

    Seacrest is on it.

  11. I wasn’t suggesting that the NOW press release will be completely justified. I just think it’s coming and it’s going to be hysterical (in all three senses of the word: funny, deranged, and female). The combination of anti-abortion politics and favoritism for male medical treatment will drive them completely insane.

  12. Count Me In!

    00=======D

  13. “Despite the differences between ovaries and testes, there are enough similarities to make it worth a look.”

    Uh, yeah, wow, look at the time! It’s been a lot of fun, thoreau, but I have to get home and, uh, feed my, uh, I mean, walk my, um, so anyway bye. NO! Don’t get up!

    😉

  14. Hambone,

    Please do it like this:

    8=======D

    Those sideways testes are disturbing. (The eight does look a little small though.)

  15. Those sideways testes are disturbing. (The eight does look a little small though.)

    Just trying to be proportionally accurate.

  16. Those sideways testes are disturbing.

    Hambone looks Egyptian to me…

  17. LOL!

  18. “Why have you been in the bathroom so long?”

    “Mom, don’t open the door! I’m harvesting stem cells!”

  19. For fans of the Rodeo Song:

  20. Damn, My art work isn’t sticking to the post.

  21. Headless snowman================D

    There’s my proportionately accurate profile.

    I’m already on the bone marrow donor list.
    Do I have to do everything around here?

    Okay, sign me up as a boner marrow donor.

    Ever the cheerful donor.
    ……….
    Headless snowman==================Eppssewss

    That’s how I would have profiled, had my momma not had me circumcised over my strenuous objection.

    Come to think of it, the tip of my penis would have quoted Bill the Cat.

  22. What’s Herrick’s balls got to say about all this, anyway? I want to hear it from a real authority.

  23. As long as we are emoticonning:

    ~( 8(|) DOH!

  24. woohoo

    another thing i can sell in a pinch

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