Hooray for fat! Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that human fat is an excellent source for stem cells that can potentially develop into cures for many diseases:
Stem cells were discovered in human fat in 2001, and called adipose stem cells (ASTs). The cells described by the UCLA scientists, led by Gregorio Chazenbalk, in the journal PLOS One, are different.
Unlike ASTs, these cells, dubbed MUSE by Mari Dezawa, leader of the Japanese team that first discovered them in bone marrow, appear to be pluripotent, more like embryonic stem cells rather than so-called “adult” stem cells. That means they can develop into any kind of tissue in the body.
MUSE stands for Multilineage-differentiating Stress-Enduring cells, and their ability endure stress is how Chazenbalk found them in fat, by accident.
“I was doing ASC isolation,” he said in an NBCNews.com interview, late at night when a critical machine stopped working. Because it was late, Chazenbalk couldn’t borrow a machine from another lab. So his cells received no nutrients, hardly any oxygen, and most died. “Then, instead of throwing them all away, I decided to see if some survived.”
Some did, and eventually formed what looked like clusters of cells typical of embryonic stem cells. These turned out to be MUSE cells.
Take that, skinny people! Link