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Technique to Convert Stem Cells into Blood Vessels is Discovered

Stem cells are sheer magic. Unlike other cells present in a specific location of the body and doing routine job, stem cells have the ability to convert into any of the 200 types of cell, as per the requirement of the body. For this particular ability of stem cells, to divide and adapt their role as per the requirement, they are considered special. Future cure and treatment of several ailments are expected to be obtained from these stem cells. But how these stem cells can get converted to other cell types is very poorly understood by scientists as of now.

Now, researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College report that they have developed a technique which can convert stem cells into endothelial cells, which are essentially required for the formation of blood vessels. This article tries to get further insight into this research study by chronicling, in brief, its main findings.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • The researchers say that now it will be possible to heal the damaged organs and tissues of body by injecting these cells inside the body.
  • The new technique is so powerful that it can generate innumerable quantities of blood vessel forming endothelial cells.
  • The study is based upon the knowledge of the genes which can convert stem cells in to blood vessels.
  • According to the researcher Dr. Shahin Rafii, this technique will open new doors of treatment for wide range of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • In order to come out with this technique, researcher Rafii and his team had to increase their understanding about stem cell conversion, control this process and identify the molecules which play an important role while stem cells get converted to endothelial cells.
  • This provided them with a new technique which could produce the endothelial cells in millions.
  • TGF-beta is a protein. A protein is a naturally present chemical substance which provides nourishment to the body.
  • The protein TGF-beta controls cell growth, its division and other functions of the cells.
  • When stem cells were placed before a chemical substance which blocks TGF-beta at a crucial time of cell breeding, the rate of conversion of these cells into endothelial cells increased tremendously.
  • When such laboratory generated cells were injected into experimental mice, the cells became operational instantly.

This is how, the foundation stone for dealing with human ailments in near future was discovered.

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