Pee your brains out; Save a life

You probably woke up today, took your morning potty break, and started your day….just like any other day, thinking nothing of it.

I bet you will think something of your morning ritual after today’s Technology Tuesday.

Have you ever considered the potential you flush every single day? It might just save your life someday.

Let’s imagine you are waiting for an organ and are waiting on the transplant list. You are concerned about rejecting the organ when you finally do receive it, and wish there were some way you could grow your own organ. You’ve heard about 3D printing organs (because you read about it in a previous post of ours) but where would the stem cells come from? Would you have to use embryonic stem cells (and worry about the ethical implications)? Would a surgeon have to harvest stem cells from your own body in a painful procedure?

Luckily for you, scientists in China are paving the way for you to grow your own organ with a simple trip to the bathroom. So, in the future, instead of waiting and worrying on the transplant list, you give a simple urine sample.

Manneken Pis statue in Brussels

Manneken Pis statue in Brussels

Kidney epithelial cells (these cells from the lining of the kidney) are isolated from the urine and converted into pluripotent stem cells. This process takes only 12 days!!! AND, it appears to be among the most promising means of procuring stem cells:

The pee-based stem cells were much more stable than those created from blood and biopsies, and they grew in half the time.

Within 4 weeks, this same team of scientists grew functioning neurons from these pee-based stem cells. That’s right: uri-neurons!!

While you aren’t really peeing your brains out, you are flushing away that possibility.

The team is creating brain cells from human urine. So next time nature calls, think of the world of possibilities! Think of the urineurons.

One man’s trash… is the same man’s life savor.


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