Menstrual blood tapped as source of stem cells
While the excitement continues to swirl around the recent breakthrough of converting skin cells to stem cells, other researchers are quietly pursuing a new type of stem cell discovered in menstrual blood.
These menstrual stem cells could offer several advantages. They come from a source that’s easy to obtain from women, they could be used to treat patients without the fear of tissue rejection, and they avoid the ethical questions associated with embryonic stem cells.
Researchers from Medistem, a biotechnology firm in Tempe, Ariz., reported the discovery of the new stem cells, dubbed endometrial regenerative cells, in this monthâ€™s Journal of Translational Medicine. Plans are already under way to investigate whether they can be medically useful.