End of the stem cell debate?

Don’t know how I missed this but just heard of a lecture on this exciting topic to be given at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute tomorrow. Seems researchers discovered not long ago that there are lots of Very Small Embryonic Like (VSEL)–sounds like something out of the dark forest in Princess Bride–stem cells being manufactured all the time in adult bone marrow.

The exciting part is that it appears these cells can do some things that embryonic stem cells can do. They’re mulitpotent, meaning they can develop into all kinds of different cells; and they have CNS homing properties, which means they may be able to be injected intravenously (a vastly less invasive way than current methods) and still make their way across endothelial layers and find the central nervous system. The implications for potentially dramatic improvements in treating neurodegenerative diseases are far-reaching.

If you live in the Cleveland area and you’re free tomorrow around 2 pm, check out the presentation by Mariusz Z. Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Stem Cell Biology Program
James Graham Brown Cancer Center. Call the Lerner Research Institute 216.444.3900.