Thursday, 20 September 2007

Your testicles might save your brain

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Scientists have discovered a new place to look for potentially life-saving stem cells -- your testicles.

Apparently a team of researchers has figured out how to identify stem cells in the testicles of adult mice, that they can then manipulate into brain cells, muscle cells, heart cells and blood cells They hope that this information will one day allow them to replicate the same procedure on humans, which could be incredibly helpful in fighting the brain damage caused by Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

It's long be speculated that such treatment would be possible with embryonic stem cells, but -- in light of the controversy surround embryonic stem cell research -- scientists around the world have been looking for adult stem cells in other parts of the body (like the testicles, for instance) that can be coaxed back into an embryonic (and therefore far more mailable) state.

While more research needs to be conducted before this technology will find a practical application, the prospects are certainly exciting.

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