Researchers based at the University of California, Los Angeles announced that they’ve found an abundant, cheap, easy-to-obtain source of stem cells that could prove to be ideal for regenerating all the basic tissue types of the human body. That source is adipose tissue, or fat.
Stem cells were discovered in human fat in 2001, and called adipose stem cells (ASTs). The cells described by the UCLA scientists, led by Gregorio Chazenbalk, in the journal PLOS One, are different.
Unlike ASTs, these cells, dubbed MUSE by Mari Dezawa, leader of the Japanese team that first discovered them in bone marrow, appear to be pluripotent, more like embryonic stem cells rather than so-called “adult” stem cells. That means they can develop into any kind of tissue in the body.