May 26, 2024

Foetal stem cells persist in mothers

Cells from babies live on in their mothers for her lifetime and could even prolong it, US researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center have found. Foetal cells which appear to act like adult stem cells have been found in the livers, thyroids and spleens of women who have been pregnant. The discovery could influence the American debate about embryonic stem cells because these extremely rare cells appear to migrate to diseased organs and help to heal them.

“If we can prove these are stem cells, and harvest them from the blood or tissue of a woman who’s been pregnant, they could have therapeutic potential for that woman, her children, and perhaps even unrelated individuals,” says Dr Diana Bianchi. “Pregnancy lasts a lifetime,” she says, “and you carry mementos of your children wherever you go.”