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.
The technique for converting the skin cells involves using viruses to insert several genes, one of which is known to cause cancer.
Meng and Ichim's team had a hunch that stem cells may aid in the rapid expansion of the uterus lining during a woman's monthly period.
Experiments in lab dishes showed that under the right conditions, the menstrual stem cells could turn into more different tissue types — including bone, blood vessel, fat, brain, lung, liver, pancreas and heart — than other adult stem cells.
The lack of immune rejection could extend beyond women from whom the cells were initially derived. Ichim says the menstrual stem cells seem to have an immune system-suppressing effect that could enable them to be transplanted into other people without rejection.
another link ==>Adult stem cells found in menstrual blood
Cryo-Cell has now patented a collection and storage technique called "C'Elle", enabling women to preserve their own menstrual stem cells in case they could be used to treat heart disease, diabetes, and spinal cord injury in the future.