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Rare Stem Cell Conference Begins Today

Monday, August 27, 2007 at 7:36 AM

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A conference on regenerative medicine kicks off in Cleveland this morning bringing scientists together to talk about a very rare and very special type of cell. ideastream's Gretchen Cuda reports.

If a single cell type held the keys to the fountain of youth, mesenchymal stem cells might well be it.  According to Dr. Arnold Caplan, a stem cell researcher at Case Western Reserve University, this rare type of adult stem cell is what repairs our aging bodies.

Arnold Caplan:  There’s 15 million blood cells that just dropped dead while you were listening to me, and the replacement parts come from adult stem cells.

Caplan was the first to describe these special adult stem cells more than 20 years ago - and he recalls a time when his colleagues were skeptical. 

Arnold Caplan: You could read the lips of people in the audience saying this was bull.

Today, not only has Caplan’s research gained acceptance, he says Cleveland has become a center for adult stem cell therapies.  This week’s conference will draw top level stem cell researchers from a round the world to Cleveland and according to Caplan, not a single one refused his invitation.  Gretchen Cuda, 90.3.

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