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Human Brain Cells Might Have The Self Potential For Healing

Researchers from the University of Florida (UF) have shown that ordinary human brain cells could have the capacity that is of self-renewal //and adaptability normally associated with stem cells.

The scientists from the UF's McKnight Brain Institute in their writing, online today the Aug. 16 in journal Development, explained in detail as to how they used mature human brain cells that were taken from an epilepsy patients to generate new brain tissue in mice.

They went on to explain that they could even try and persuade these pedestrian human cells to produce a large amounts of new brain cells in culture, with one cell theoretically able to begin a cycle of cell division that does not stop until the cells number about 10 to the 16th power.

"We can theoretically take a single brain cell out of a human being and - with just this one cell - generate enough brain cells to replace every cell of the donor's brain and conceivably those of 50 million other people," said Dennis Steindler, Ph.D., executive director of UF's McKnight Brain Institute. "This is a completely new source of human brain cells that can potentially be used to fight Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and a host of other brain disorders. It would probably only take months to get enough material for a human transplant operation."

The findings document for the first time the ability of common human brain cells to morph into different cell types, a previously unknown characteristic, and are the result of the research team's long-term investigations of adult human stem cells and rodent embryonic stem cells.

Last year, the researchers published details about how they used stem-like brain cells from rodents to duplicate neurogenesis - the process of generating new brain cells - in a dish. The latest findings go further, showing common human brain cells can generate different cell types in cell cultures. In addition, when rese
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