I remember when my doctor first explained how diabetes works. He said that my cells fail to produce enough insulin to properly metabolize the sugar in my blood. I heard that and instinctively thought, “Well that sounds easy, why don’t we just fix the cells?”
As it turns out, the ability to fix cells hasn’t come along just yet. But it’s not as far off as one might think. The above TED Talk from physician Siddhartha Mukherjee covers how work in skeletal stem cells is leading to a shift in our medical paradigm.
The term “stem cell” may ring Pavlov’s bell, triggering an instinctive ideological response. However, it’s noteworthy that the cells Mukherjee discusses do not come from fetal tissue. We could therefore be looking at all the benefits of stem cells without the moral controversy.