Apr 1, 2013 10:07 AM by Marissa Torres
It's a game-changing discovery from researchers in San Francisco. The finding could potentially lead to a treatment or cure for people with Diabetes.
Researchers at UC San Francisco were working to understand more about breast cancer when they made an unexpected discovery.
Special cells from breast tissue that have the ability to change; much like embryonic stem cells.
"They can turn into breast tissue, nerve tissue beating heart cells fat and blood vessels or pancreas or tissues like that," says Thea Tlsty, PhD, a researcher with the study.
Up until now researchers believed only embryonic cells had the ability to change, they didn't think adult cells had that potential.
"These cells came from cells isolated from the human breast" says researcher Somdutta Roy, PhD.
In the lab researchers were able to change those breast tissue cells into these beating heart cells.
"So conceptually this could be used for neuro degenerative diseases such as Parkinson, MS, Alzheimers and for repairing damaged cardiac tissues."
They may even be used to produce islet cells that can generate insulin to help people with Diabetes.