One day you may harvest your extracted wisdom teeth for your personal stem cell bank. Researchers in Japan have successfully made stem cells from wisdom teeth, creating an alternative source of pluripotent cells for research and treatment of diseases.
Pluripotent cells are undifferentiated cells that carry your personal genetic code. Extracted wisdom teeth if banked properly could be used later in your life to make various body tissues. Because these cells are grown from your own cells chance of reaction and rejection is greatly reduced. This technique would silence the ethics issues around using embryonic stem cells.
Scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology cells from teeth frozen for three years after being removed from a 10 year old girl. Last year, Japan announced it would be spending 10 billion yen, over 90 million US dollars, on stem cell research in the next 5 years.
Dentistry.co.uk recently reported on the use of baby teeth as a source of stem cells by UK company BioEden.