Fat converted to stem cells to save the sick

Ever worried about being obese? Do you ever feel guilty about that all those late night snack runs, or the time you skipped the gym? What if you were actually saving lives with those poor decisions? What if that beer belly you constantly hide could do some good?  


Now that would be pretty cool, and thanks to a new surgical procedure, fat tissue will soon save lives and make the world a better place. 


The people behind the discovery  

One of the key researchers responsible for this latest medical breakthrough is Eckhard U. Alt MD PHD. According to the Third International Conference Regenerative Medicine, Alt is one of the world's leading medical experts on stem cell research pointing out that, "his innovative spirit is demonstrated by more than 650 worldwide patents he has been granted, primarily in the fields of Stem Cells, Electrophysiology, and Interventional Cardiology." Just think of him of a rock star of the stem cell fields.  


What’s going on 

The reason for praise is that Alt’s latest projects are all about fat-derived stem cells. What makes it radically different is that the standard way to get stem cells is for medical teams to scrap bone marrow and skin cells, then according to Scientific America, a leading science website, is to "mix up their internal clocks, coaxing them back into pluripotency over a matter of weeks."  


These stem cells often gravitate towards becoming blood and immune cells, but the new practice of obtaining stem cells via fat doesn't have those limitations.  


Stem cells based off of fat tissue, on the other hand, can become many different cell groups. Examples include connective tissue, organ tissue and even tissue that can fight off Parkinson's disease.  In many cases, it can be easier to acquire stem cells based off of fat tissue because of the excess amounts being disposed of by liposuction procedures. It still uses the same method and time, but the stem cells themselves have many more applications.  


This is a major scientific event because for once there is a non-controversial, relatively easy way to produce stem cells. However, Alt is not the sole discoverer of this medical advancement. In fact, it was reported by National Geographic in September 2009 that stem cells derived from the leftovers of liposuction patients could revolutionize the way the medical community saves lives. 


What makes Alt’s work so important is because for the first time these procedures have worked. In a CNN health report, Alt was shown to have reversed bone and muscle damage in one of the first human test subjects.   


There are still more tests to be made, but the big impact here is that eight years ago this technique was only being briefly spoken about and testing was far from a possibility. Now we live in a world where literal excess fat can save organs, help mend damaged tissue and fix immune systems, and these types of advancements will only get better over time. 

Forecasted start year: 
2017 to 2018


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