Research related to the benefits of using adult stem cells in the medical industry is becoming more and more popular. Recently discovered sources of adult stem cells include the lungs. These newfound stem cells may be able to generate a number of different organ tissues within the human body. This can lead to stem cell treatments in the future for various pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema.
A recent study was released in a May 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine written by Dr. Joseph Loscalzo and Dr. Piero Anversa of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. According to their research, mice that were injected with human stem cells “showed their versatility by rebuilding airways, air sacs and blood vessels within two weeks.”
Boston University’s Dr. Alan Fine wants to stress the fact that it is still too early to make any promises when it comes to the possibilities this discover brings to stem cell therapies. He said, “While these findings are remarkable and have extraordinary implications, they must be confirmed by further research.”
Scientists know that stem cells have the power to generate a number of different specialized cells and are still searching for a way to use adult stem cells effectively to treat diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and more. In most cases, adult stem cells are derived from bone marrow as well as other tissues in the human body. However, this is the first time that adult stem cells have been located in the lungs.
Adult stem cells have to responsibility of maintaining and repairing the tissues within the human body. It is important to point out that these are adult stem cells from a patient’s own body or a donor, as opposed to embryonic stem cells, which come from an unborn fetus. When embryonic stem cells are taken from aborted fetuses or those left over from intravenous fertilization procedures, the fetus dies. That is not the case with adult stem cells, which can be found not only in adults but also in infants and children as well. When adult stem cells are harvested, the patient or donor is not affected in any way.
For a number of years, the State of Connecticut has been actively helping to further stem cell research. In fact, in June of 2005 the General Assemble as Connecticut General Statutes passed legislation to establish The Connecticut Stem Cell Research Grants-In-Aid Program. Millions of dollars have been appropriated in support of human stem cell research through this program. As more discoveries are made through adult stem cell research, it is likely that more states will follow suit, setting up funds in support of finding a number of new treatments and cures for various diseases and injuries.