Mesenchymal cells are immature cells that have the potential to become a variety of the body's tissues, like muscle and bone. Current viable sources for mesenchymal stem cells include umbilical cords, menstrual blood, teeth and fat tissue. In the lab, the scientists were able to multiply the harvested stem cells and then coax them to grow into apparently healthy muscle, fat, cartilage and bone cell lines. The article reports that it will take more time and research before cells like these could be given to patients.
Stem cell expert Stephen Minger, of Kings College London, said, "This is another promising source to add to the list of so-called 'ethical' sources of stem cells."