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Apr 23, 2008

Scientists Find that Menstrual Blood Stromal Cells Differentiate into Seven Cell Types

  • Cryo-Cell and McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine say that they have conducted research that adds to the evidence that menstrual blood is a potentially unlimited, easily collectable, and inexpensive source of stem cells.

    Previously, stromal stem cells were identified in endometrial tissues of the uterus. When the fresh growth of tissue and blood vessels is shed during each menstrual cycle, some cells with regenerative and multipotency capabilities, menstrual blood stromal cells (MenSCs), are present and collectable. 

    Scientists tested the MenSCs and found that they could differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, ectodermal, mesodermal, cardiogenic, and neural cell lineages. The sample MenSCs expanded rapidly and maintained greater than 50% of their telomerase activity compared to human embryonic stem cells and showed more activity than bone marrow-derived stem cells. The studies also demonstrated that MenSCs are easily expandable to clinical relevance and express multipotent markers at both the molecular and cellular level, report the investigators.

    The results of the study are published in the this year’s issue of Cell Transplantation.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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