London, Aug 23 : In a breakthrough study, Japanese scientists have said that they have created human stem cells from tissue of discarded wisdom teeth of a 10-year-old girl.
As various groups object to using embryos for research purposes, scientists believe that wisdom teeth could be a suitable alternative for therapeutic stem cells.
Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) claim that the stem cell are capable enough to develop into other kinds of human cells, which can eventually help in development of improved treatments for some of the most intractable conditions, like cancer and diabetes.
The research team said that they have discovered a form of stem cell in the wisdom teeth, which can be developed and grown into other forms of cell outside the body.
The harvested cells continued to grow in the laboratory for just over a month.
Lead researcher Hajime Ogushi, said the research was significant in two ways.
"One is that we can avoid the ethical issues of stem cells because wisdom teeth are destined to be thrown away anyway," BBC quoted him, as saying
"Also, we used teeth that had been extracted three years ago and had been preserved in a freezer. That means that it's easy for us to stock this source of stem cells," he added.