Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:05

Sharon Begley´s "Wired" Part I

On this spring afternoon, the 44-year-old CEO of San Diego- based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics pulls out his laptop, launches a PowerPoint presentation, and there they are: conical and cantaloupy. As through Ds, beige and pink and taupe and tan, more breasts than you might see in a women's locker room, never mind in the middle of a lunch table.

A passing waiter does a double take at this lively slide show, but Calhoun is oblivi­ous. He's talking excitedly about how these women's bodies led him and his team of sci­entists to a discovery in tissue engineer­ing, a process that could well be one of the most momentous medical advances of the 21st century: the use of stemcells..... specifically stem-cell enriched adipose (fat) tissue—to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs.

Published in Media "Classics"
Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:42

Sharon Begley´s "Wired"- Part II

Part II- "These things have gone through the ringer in choosing a name," says biomechan-ical engineer Kent Leach of UC Davis, who has used whatever-they-are to treat bone cysts in racehorses. A stem cell, by definition, is able to differentiate into any of the 200-plus kinds of cells in the human body, just as the cells of a days-old embryo can (and do). Cytori's are unlikely to ever show that range of differentiation. But they can differentiate into fat, bone, and muscle -among other tissues—depending on which signaling molecules they are exposed to. In a petri dish, the scientists provide those "this is what you will be when you grow up" molecules. In nature—that is, an embryo in a womb—biology somehow does.

Published in Media "Classics"

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