Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Stem Cells from Testicles

Scientist have managed to produce stem cells from adult human testicles that could potentially be used for therapeutic purposes. This would enable research on stem cell therapies while at the same time avoiding the ethical problems faced when using embryonic stem cells (like the ones seen in the picture).

The research was conducted by Thomas Skutella and his team at the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg. In addition to avoiding ethical problems, this technique also has the advantage of producing stem cells with your own genome, which means that they would not be considered foreign in the body, and the immune system would not attack them. To eliminate this problem, there was some talk about harvesting cord blood from each newborn and storing it in a “bank” so that it could be used when needed, but that would be logistically difficult and expensive, so this new method seems a lot easier. The drawback is of course that this specific technique only works for men, since the female gonads are somewhat more difficult to access. But I’m sure they’ll figure something out in the future. One possibility is stem cells derived from somatic cells.


October 12, 2008 - Posted by | Medicine | , , , , , , , , , ,

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