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Perhaps in the not-too-distant future people who need “to rebuild” their prostate will be able to do so using stem cells removed from prostate tissue. This week Nature magazine reported that a group of Genetech researchers in San Francisco has isolated stem cells extracted from prostate tissue of an adult mouse and used them to generate new prostate cells in the same rat. Wei-Qiang Gao, the coordinator of the study, described the factors that made these cells, which are able to regenerate on a long term basis.
In the same study, researchers reported that they
Andreas Trumpp and his colleagues from the German Cancer Research Center have recently spoken about a “silent reserve” of stem cells, wondering what type of medical impact the discovery made in Heidelberg of “dormant stem cells” could have.
Usually, dormant bone marrow cells activate and multiply only in a crisis or emergency to react to serious cellular loss due to a virus or hemorrhage. When their work is done, they return to a dormant stage. This withdrawal phase keeps them protected from mutations, cellular toxins, and other dangerous substances, since the cells do not divide