Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Medical Miracle

If you haven't already seen the news this morning, I have an amazing medical story for you. Doctors in Barcelona have just successfully transplanted a new windpipe into a 30 year old Columbian woman that was made completely out of her own stem cells. Stem cells are baby cells........undifferentiated into one of the more complex cell structures that makes up our specific organs. Doctors have found a way to take these stems cells and help manipulate it to form a human windpipe. This should be considered amazing in its own right, but since the stem cells came from the patient herself, she will not have to worry about the ever present risk of her body rejecting the transplant.

The woman needed this transplant because  she has been suffering from Tuberculosis and her trachea had been stripped of all the cells leaving just connective tissue, and one of her bronchioles was almost completely constricted. In the US alone, there are about 25,000 new cases of TB each year.  For this reason, and so many others, is why I support stem cell research. I know there is controversy out there about where the stem cells come from and to each their own, but successful stories such as this one prove that all funding, all research, all testing.......should move forward as fast and as safe as possible!!

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