Stem Cells have come a long way since they were first viewed as the “controversial poster-child” for science having taken things too far. The past decade has seen researchers carry out some miracle experiments using the flexible properties inside stem cells, but this week saw two massive developments emerge within this sphere almost simultaneously.

Made to fit

Reports confirm that scientists have now successfully found a way to grow functional intestines and re-grow important cells in our ear that directly affect our ability to sense sound. The team responsible for creating intestines using stem cells hail from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and they have reported their findings on Nature Medicine Journal.

This team managed to grow a fragment of our intestines using nothing but a single line of stem cells. They did this by growing a set of neurons in a lab, and then artificially combining them with a unique set of stem cells that had been fitted with properties of muscles and intestinal lining. Putting these unique components together led to the creation of the first set of artificially-crafted intestines.

Meanwhile, a separate team of scientists at Harvard University and MIT used a set of stem cells found in mouse ears and discovered a new method to multiply them in a lab. After the multiplication process, the team then managed to convert these cells into hair cells that are found in ears. These hair cells are also referred to as sound-sensing cells, and are absolutely vital in helping us stopping or even reversing hearing loss.

Future implications

These incredulous leaps have been built on the back of a steady amount of research conducted using stem cells over the past five years. As of this article, we have now understood how to successfully convert stem cells into kidneys, brain matters, and a few other kind of important tissues, leading scientists to believe that our bodies may be entirely regenerated based on our individual necessities in the near future. A version of immortality is now within our grasp.