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Scientists grow new teeth out of urine

Urine stem cells are a possible source for replacement teeth.

By Anne Hurley Jul 31, 2013 6:17PM

Sometimes a tooth just has to go. Maybe an old filling gives out, or maybe structural damage or gum disease compromises a tooth to the point that it needs to be pulled. Maybe you had something to prove that night in the biker bar and got in a fight.Whatever the reason, you may be missing a tooth. But a typical dental implant costs several thousand dollars -- and as much as $10,000 if there are complications or bone grafts are needed. And most dental insurance policies don’t cover the bulk of implant costs.

So, the news from China about new research showing that new teeth can actually be grown is nothing short of astounding, and such a process could remake dentistry as we currently know it. As Medical News Today reports, Chinese scientists have successfully used stem cells to grow solid organs, including teeth, from stem cells. The study, first published in the journal Cell Regeneration, also details just how the organs and teeth were regrown: Using stem cells from . . . urine.

The scientists mixed mouse cells and human cells to create the different types of cells that make up a human tooth: pulp, dentin and enamel. The little creations were physically and structurally “quite similar” to human teeth, the study says, though they are not as strong -- yet -- as natural human teeth.

OK, so the idea of urine is a little freaky, but think about it: The supply of urine that someone can generate is virtually unlimited, and if scientists really can use it to regrow useful organs -- including teeth, of all things -- that’s significant. And if viable stem cells can be harvested from urine, that could eliminate the controversial use of human embryos for stem cells. And since it was your pee to begin with, your body wouldn’t reject stem-cell-grown parts when they're implanted back into your body.

Further research is necessary, the scientists acknowledge, but I for one am excited at the prospect that should the day come when I need to replace a tooth, the solution could be as close as the nearest specimen cup.

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155Comments
Jul 31, 2013 7:07PM
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This is awesome. This country wouldn't think of doing anything like that.God for bid anybody finds anything that the drug companies can't rip the people off with. I would much rather have a mouth full of urine than a mouth full of crap. Oh, that is what the politicians spew out. I guess that urine wouldn't work for them.
Jul 31, 2013 7:16PM
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Amazing research!  Kudos to the Chinese on this one. Growing your own teeth is better than every fake alternative. Of course, there will be resistance from the dental status quo.
Jul 31, 2013 7:07PM
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The future portends great things for health--now we need to work together so everyone can afford it, not just the 1%--all of us!
Jul 31, 2013 8:33PM
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Gives a whole new meaning to the term "Potty Mouth."
Jul 31, 2013 7:31PM
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I just came from a dentist appointment to be evaluated for a for an implant.  Just the evaluation cost $305 and insurance won't pay.
Jul 31, 2013 7:45PM
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The Chinese are not held back by religious nuts so I suspect this is one of the first of many stem cell related advancements they will accomplish.
Jul 31, 2013 7:10PM
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As Medical News Today reports, Chinese scientists have successfully used stem cells to grow solid organs, including teeth, from stem cells.

Does anyone proof read the article before posting it?

 

Otherwise, it is very cool. 

Jul 31, 2013 8:43PM
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Special thanks to the Bush administration and bible thumpers. Ground breaking stem cell research going on here was shut down for a decade while the rest of the world ran with it. But at least all those placenta "people" got Christian burials. No, wait, they got thrown away with the rest of the medical waste. Bet those entitled few will elbow their way to the front of the line to get stem cell grown replacement parts when their bodies start to fail.
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