Multiple Adult Stem Cells May Make Treatment Trickier

Researchers find different types in organs, complicating search for therapeutic cells
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 9, 2008 11:20 AM CDT
Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, poses with a painting of his mother and uncles painted by his grandmother in 1911, Oct. 8, 2007, in Salt Lake City.    (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, file)
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(Newser) – There is probably more than one type of adult stem cell in the intestines and other organs, a University of Utah researcher finds—which means therapies based on the cells could be more complicated than expected. Scientists had hoped a single stem cell could fix damage to an entire organ, but the findings suggest the power of one cell could be limited, the BBC notes.

But researcher Mario Capecchi, whose findings were published in Nature Genetics, remains hopeful. “Knowing more, even though it's more complicated, means you're better situated to make whatever you want it to do work,” he said. Adds another scientist: "It's important that we find out which is the most useful cell in these organs, if we want to use them in therapies."