We’re Now Making Brain Cells From Pee

We’re Now Making Brain Cells From Pee

Chinese researchers have managed to reprogram kidney cells out of your pee and made them brain cells that would work. Your pee can go to your brain.

We’ve talked a bunch about stem cells that’s we’ve made from blood, contacts loaded up with stem cells that can restore your sight, and now we’ve got an amazing advancement in medicine that can help with Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.

It just so happens to involve your pee.

There are other ways through which we can acquire stem cells — we’ve learned how to reprogram cells for quite some time to create stem cells, at least relative to our breakneck pace of medical breakthroughs — but the problems we’re facing now are to have those stem cells be easy to create, and more importantly, less likely to be rejected by the body as a foreign object.

With the blood cells story above, it’s noted that because the stem cells are created from stuff that’s already inside your body, it’s much more likely that the body won’t reject it, and reduces the likelihood of the cells becoming mutated once they’re returned to the body. This is the same thing with the neuron progenitor cells that are being made from kidney skin cells.

That we get from your pee.

Embryonic stem cells are still considered the most helpful, but the ethical minefield there makes it difficult to find a safe way to acquire the stem cells without damaging unborn children.

From PopSci:

 After growing their progenitors into mature neurons and glial cells, the researchers transplanted the progenitors into the brains of newborn rats. A month later, the cells were still alive in the rats’ brains, though it is not yet clear that they can survive for extended periods or mesh with the brain’s wiring to become functioning parts of the neural machine.

All from your pee. I’m sorry, I can’t stop thinking about that. I peed not too long ago, and thought, “that could’ve cured my future Alzheimer’s.”

Dang.

Question: What medical marvel has you freaking out these days?