Researchers have identified an adult stem cell in hair follicles that appears to have the ability to diversify in much the same way that embryonic stem cells can. Some analysts say that the discovery of a versatile adult stem cell could allow the field to advance more swiftly, gaining federal funds that have been cut off from embryonic stem cell research. Medical College of Wisconsin scientists say their studies demonstrate that these adult stem cells are distinctly different from skin-resident stem cells. They can be isolated with high degrees of purity and multiplied in culture and have demonstrated a level of safety and effectiveness in animal studies.
"We see the potential for cell replacement therapy in which patients can be their own donors, which would avoid ethical issues and reduce the possibility of tissue incompatibility," says lead researcher Maya Sieber-Blum, PhD.
- check out the release on the stem cell work