May I be excused? I need to create some stem cells

Great work has been announced by Chinese boffins, if a little stinky on this particular occasion.

A new study published in the journal Nature Methods postulates an alternative to the controversial embryonic stem cell harvesting. Stem cells have the ability to grow into most other kinds of cells in the human body, making them potentially useful for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. Aside from the morality of their harvesting, embryonic stem cells also do come with the risk of developing tumours.

So the researchers at China’s Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, decided to reprogramme cells from skin and blood – successfully. However, they found, there is a much more accessible source for the basic cells they need to complete this process and that is urine. Researchers say, rightly, that it’s a heck of a lot easier to get a kid to give a urine sample than a blood sample.

Would we lie about that? Surely not. But if we did, then you’d be able to work it out by checking the heat of our noses. According to NBC, researchers at the University of Granada in Spain found that when people lie, their noses and orbital muscles become hot, a condition they call the Pinocchio effect. Fish are also masters of manipulation, says a new study in the Royal Society Biology Letters journal this month.

Apparently, small dudes of the Atlantic Molly don’t get as much action as their stronger, flashier rivals – something Weekender can very much identify with.

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