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Bone Marrow Cells Could Yield A New Lease of Life

Researchers offer intriguing results from a study involving women with leukemia who died after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a male relative.An analysis of the women’s brains shows evidence of the transplanted // cells up to six years after the initial transplant, suggesting some of the bone marrow cells were actually acting as stem cells -- basic cells capable of developing into any type of cell in the body, and once thought to be found only in human embryos.

Researchers found cells in the women’s brains with the male, or “Y”, chromosome, essentially meaning the women had transgender brain tissue.In the woman who survived the longest after the transplant, evidence of the male cells was present in nerve cells as well. While emphasizing that much more work should be done to confirm these findings, researchers believe that bone marrow cells may one day be used to treat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Thus researchers say that findings from their study suggests that bone marrow could be used as a therapeutic source of readily harvestable cells for the regeneration of nerve cells, with the potential application to various neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic central nervous system damge .

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