Make your own stem cells!

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Sandra Porter

Tired of waiting for congress and you don't want to move to California or out of the US? Attila Csordas shows us in a few photographs how to isolate placental stem cells at home.

His series brings back memories. My very first paid technician job in college involved visiting the maternity ward, collecting placentas, and starting primary cell cultures from umbilical epithelial cells. I would tie one end of umbilical cord, squirt a bit of media with some trypsin, and incubate the thing for a while so that the trypsin could digest some of the proteins that held the cells together. After a short time, I would wash cells out the cord and plate them in dishes with a bit of media.

Unlike Attila, I worked in lab with a sterile tissue culture hood, and sterile solutions, and we never bothered freezing our cultures. His series of pictures, though, does a good job of capturing the overall process.

If you've ever wondered what this looks like, go to PIMM and check it out.

[update] I have one quick correction that I would like to thank Attila for pointing out. The pictures on his site are from a lab and he's not growing placental cells at home. He just wants to awake researchers to the possibilities.