Human cadaver brains may provide new stem cells - FOX 35 News Orlando

Human cadaver brains may provide new stem cells

Posted: Updated:
  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:48:06 GMT
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
  • Couple and baby miss Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over Ukraine

    Couple and baby miss Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over Ukraine

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:47 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:47:36 GMT
    Imagine how you would feel if you were supposed to be on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday but changed your flight for a later time?
    Imagine how you would feel if you were supposed to be on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday but changed your flight for a later time?
  • Company sets limits on how long workers can use bathroom

    Company sets limits on how long workers can use bathroom

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 11:02 AM EDT2014-07-16 15:02:02 GMT
    Should an employer have any say in how much time you spend in the bathroom on company time? According to an article on CNN.com, Chicago's Watersaver Faucet Company installed swipe card systems on bathrooms at their factory in an attempt to limit bathroom breaks to 6 minutes or less. WaterSaver disciplined nineteen workers for what they call "excessive use" of washrooms. FOX 5’s Wisdom Martin has more. READ MORE: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/15/smallbusiness/bathroom-time-penalty/
    Should an employer have any say in how much time you spend in the bathroom on company time? According to an article on CNN.com, Chicago's Watersaver Faucet Company installed swipe card systems on bathrooms at their factory in an attempt to limit bathroom breaks to 6 minutes or less. WaterSaver disciplined nineteen workers for what they call "excessive use" of washrooms. FOX 5’s Wisdom Martin has more. READ MORE: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/15/smallbusiness/bathroom-time-penalty/

By Charles Choi / LiveScience -- Death will come for us all one day, but life will not fade from our bodies all at once. After our lungs stop breathing, our hearts stop beating, our minds stop racing, our bodies cool, and long after our vital signs cease, little pockets of cells can live for days, even weeks. Now scientists have harvested such cells from the scalps and brain linings of human corpses and reprogrammed them into stem cells.

In other words, dead people can yield living cells that can be converted into any cell or tissue in the body.

As such, this work could help lead to novel stem cell therapies and shed light on a variety of mental disorders, such asschizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder, which may stem from problems with development, researchers say.

Making stem cells

Mature cells can be made or induced to become immature cells, known as pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to become any tissue in the body and potentially can replace cells destroyed by disease or injury. This discovery was honored last week with the Nobel Prize.

Past research showed this same process could be carried out with so-called fibroblasts taken from the skin of human cadavers. Fibroblasts are the most common cells of connective tissue in animals, and they synthesize the extracellular matrix, the complex scaffolding between cells. [Science of Death: 10 Tales from the Crypt]

Cadaver-collected fibroblasts can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells using chemicals known as growth factors that are linked with stem cell activity. Reprogrammed cells could then develop into a multitude of cell types, including the neurons found in the brain and spinal cord. However, bacteria and fungi on the skin can wreak havoc on the culturing processes used to grow cells in labs, making the process tricky to successfully carry out.

Now scientists have taken fibroblasts from the scalps and the brain linings of 146 human brain donors and grown induced pluripotent stem cells from them as well.

"We were able to culture living cells from deceased individuals on a larger scale than ever done before," researcher Thomas Hyde, a neuroscientist, neurologist and chief operating officer at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development in Baltimore, told LiveScience. Previous studies had only grown fibroblasts from a total of about a half-dozen cadavers.

The bodies had been dead up to nearly two days before scientists collected tissues from them. The corpses had been kept cool in the morgue, but not frozen.

The researchers found fibroblasts taken from the brain lining, or dura mater, were 16 times more likely to grow successfully than those from the scalp. This was expected, since the scalp is prone to fungal and bacterial contamination just like any other part of the skin. These contaminants can ruin any attempt to grow fibroblasts in lab dishes.

Surprisingly, scalp cells did proliferate more and grew more rapidly than dura mater cells. "This makes sense — the skin is constantly renewing, while the turnover in dura mater is much slower," Hyde said.

Future therapies

Cells from corpses might play a key role in developing future stem cell therapies. Successfully reprogramming induced pluripotent stem cells so they behave like the cells they are meant to replace means that samples of the mimicked cells must be present for comparison. Cadavers can provide brain, heart and other tissues for study that researchers cannot safely obtain from living people.
"For instance, we can compare neurons derived from fibroblasts with actual neurons from the same individual," Hyde said. "It tells us about how reliable a given method for deriving neurons from fibroblasts is. That can be crucial if, for example, you want to create dopamine-making neurons to treat someone with Parkinson's disease."

Studying how induced pluripotent stem cells develop into various tissues could also shed light on disorders that are due to malfunctions in development.

"We're very interested in major neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, autism and mental retardation," Hyde said. "By understanding what goes wrong with the brain cells in these individuals, we could perhaps help fix that."

The scientists detailed their findings online Sept. 27 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/17/human-cadaver-brains-may-provide-new-stem-cells/#ixzz29esCIe9R

  • Photo GalleriesPhoto GalleriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Beautiful double rainbow after heavy storms

    PHOTOS: Beautiful double rainbow after heavy storms

    Wednesday, July 9 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-09 18:11:09 GMT
    Heavy storms passed over the Washington, D.C. region Tuesday evening. After the storms passed – a beautiful rainbow appeared. Here are some viewer pictures of the rainbow!
    Heavy storms passed over the Washington, D.C. region Tuesday evening. After the storms passed – a beautiful rainbow appeared. Here are some viewer pictures of the rainbow!
  • 13 quotes about freedom that will make you proud to be an American

    13 quotes about freedom that will make you proud to be an American

    Friday, July 4 2014 4:27 PM EDT2014-07-04 20:27:19 GMT
    What does freedom mean to you?  In honor of Independence Day, we've put together a list of quotes about freedom that will make you proud to live in the USA. 
    What does freedom mean to you?  In honor of Independence Day, we've put together a list of quotes about freedom that will make you proud to live in the USA. 
  • PHOTOS: 2014 Quicken Loans National

    PHOTOS: 2014 Quicken Loans National

    Monday, June 30 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-06-30 14:31:01 GMT
    Congrats to Justin Rose, who won the 2014 Quicken National Tournament at Congressional Country Club! Check out photos from the weekend here.
    Congrats to Justin Rose, who won the 2014 Quicken National Tournament at Congressional Country Club! Check out photos from the weekend here.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices