Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stem Cell Update

Hi. This blog has provided me the forum to talk about a variety of subjects. On November 19 2008 I wrote a blog entry titled, “More Medical Marvels.” It talked about the use of stem cells in repairing a women’s bronchial tube. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal reported that for the first time researchers have developed the first fully functional three-dimensional organ replacement. They took stem cells with genetic properties of a tooth and implanted this “tooth germ” into a mouse’s empty tooth socket. Once the engineered tooth matured, after 11 weeks, it had a similar shape, hardness, and function as a regular tooth. This research was carried out at the Tokyo University of Science. The researchers suggested that using similar techniques in humans could restore function to patients with organ failure.

I’ve been a supporter of stem cell research for a long time. I don’t know where the above scientific breakthrough will take us, but the possibilities are staggering. Imagine a new heart, lung, kidney created from the patients own stem cells. It would almost certainly address the issues of tissue rejection, a lifetime of anti-rejection medications, and shortcomings in our current organ donor/recipient lottery process. I know I’m getting ahead of myself and a tooth in a mouse’s mouth is a long way off from a human heart, but the direction this is taking is damn exciting.

Here’s a quick update on the esophageal dilatation from my last post. My doctor’s office called today and asked if I could come in for the barium swallow test this Friday. So, it won’t be mid-September. This test could lead to an esophageal dilatation which in turn could lead to a better quality of life for me. It really would be a pleasure to eat again. I’m hopeful, but reserved in my hopefulness.

Take care everyone.

1 comment:

grace clark said...

eddie, i hope the test goes very well for you.
i missed will and sheila's party on sunday?
were you there?
also i hear you and fran had a great trip out west.wow, i wish i had your energy.
love, grace