Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mice Balls To The Rescue!

Here's another reason to love Micky Mouse...
German scientists from Georg-August-University of Göttingensay (man, that's a mouthful) have discovered that cells from the testes of mice can behave like embryonic stem cells. If the same holds true in humans, it could provide a controversy-free source of cells for use in treating many diseases.

Why are embryonic stem cells so important in uncovering ways to treat diseases? Embryonic stem cells are super duper versitile. They can become any tissue in the body. Scientists believe they may offer treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.

Stem cell research has been a hotbed of controversy for many years. In order to harvest the cells, human embryos must be destroyed - human rights and religious groups have fought the practice for years. The debate continues to rage on - when is a life a life? When does the good of finding a cure that kills millions outweigh the life of an embryo?

But these new developments using mice testes offers a way to continue to do stem cell research without entering the ethical and moral battle. Lab research recently published in Nature found that the mouse cells closely mimicked the behavior of embryonic stem cells, Dr. Gerd Hasenfuss (pictured right) said Friday. He said he is optimistic about finding human testicular cells that will do the same. Work has already begun on that, he added.

If such cells are found in human males, “then we have resolved the ethical problem with human embryonic stem cells,” he said in a telephone interview.

Most recently, the mouse cells were able to develop into a variety of vital cells including heart cells that contracted and nerve cells that produced dopamine, the chemical messenger that Parkinson’s patients lack. Cells typical of the liver, skin, pancreas, brain, and blood vessels were produced as well.

The process would invovle removing testicular cells from a male patient, growing some tissue in a lab the patient needs, and transplanting that same tissue into the donor without fear of biological rejection, he noted. In other words, guys - your balls could one day save your life.

For the time being, scientists have yet to find such sells from women. Dr. Takashi Shinohara, of the Kyoto University says he has not been able to find a similar source of tailor-made stem cells in female mice. "Maybe we just missed it, but maybe it's not there." So it seems that this is a man-only procedure for now. (Sorry ladies). This is really an unfortunate situation, since most men become crybabies when they need any medical procedure. Personally, I would run faster than Flo-Jo when confronted by a heavy-set nurse and a needle.

I wonder exactly how they remove the cells from a guy's balls. I imagine it includes a very long and sharp needle, test tubes, and heavy-duty retraints.


Mojotek said...

Pretty cool discovery for sure! It really is too bad that the same can't be found in females to date.

Jim said...

someone's job somewhere is to castrate mice

Perplexio said...

Phoenix: And you can't forget that there's probably also a gym teacher or soccer coach in the recovery room waiting to tell you to "walk it off" after the procedure is over.

mrshife said...

I sure hope this can become a reality. There are a lot of people that can benefit from stem cells.
Maybe this is why guys like to grab and scratch their balls so much. We are keeping those cells active.

Sherri said...

Imagine trying to tell someone who asks you what you do for a living

"I work in balls, mice balls, to be exact"


Grafs said...

Now they really ARE the family jewels.

Karen said...

oh balls, is this a guy thing over here today!!

at least you guys don't havta have your boobs squished during a mammo... sorry guys, couldn't resist!! {grin}

Jamie Dawn said...

I never knew that balls held so much healing power.
Wow! Males should feel proud and eagerly offer themselves to be carved up for the good of mankind.

My voice doc tells me that she wants me to have stem cells put into my vocal cords to regrow tissue and make for better vibration. If they inject me with mouse balls cells, I may end up sounding like Mickey Mouse.

Personal update:
We were in your neck of the woods this past weekend. We were in the St. Louis area.
We had a whirlwind of a weekend. The 50th anniversary for my inlaws went wonderfully. It was a lot of work, and Courtney's media presentation she made for them made everyone at the dinner party cry. There were about 125 people who attended and we had to set up and then clean up afterwards. Lots of work! But worth it.
Courtney is doing well. She had sinus surgery yesterday. She is home with a drippy, bloody nose, and popping pain pills. She's a trooper, and will be fully recovered in about ten days.
I'm busy visiting all my blog friends, and I have some catching up to do. I will have a new post at my place on Wednesday.

I'll be back by here later to listen to your podcast.

Will said...

Well, it sounds a little painful (where the fellas at? You know how I feel). On the other hand, I'm personally in favor of stem cell research - makes it even better to rid the ethical problems some people have.

:P fuzzbox said...

I can just see an educational pamphlet geared to educating children. " From Testes to Tomorrow: One Mouse's Story."

Keshi said...

**Most recently, the mouse cells were able to develop into a variety of vital cells including heart cells that contracted and nerve cells that produced dopamine, the chemical messenger that Parkinson’s patients lack.

VERY Interesting Phoenix!

Well we have a good use of some rodents then dun we :)


Sar said...

For some reason Of Mice And Men comes to mind. ;)

I love how they claim to have an ethical problem using human stem cells but not mice. I'm no scientist nor animal rights activist, but how ethically wrong is to deem another species expendible and test them in order to treat and cure your own?

The Phoenix said...

mojotek, they just need to locate such cells in women. Scientists concluded females don't have balls.

jim, and how did that someone land that dream job?

perplexio, I never understood that term, "walk it off." As if walking makes your scrotum heal faster.

mrshife, that's one more good reason to grab yourself. Michael Jackson must have a ton of cells.

sherri, I'd lie about my occupation. I'd tell people I'm an accountant instead.

grafs, For sure...gotta protect future stem cells.

karen, a fellow blogger showed us pictures. I had no idea a boob could be flattened like that. Incredible.

JD, When you said "ghetto" and "roadkill," I knew you were here in St. Louis. Sorry the weather was so crappy while you were here.
Injecting stem cells to help various tissues regenerate is becomming increasingly viable. However, I believe in vocal chords, it's still highly experimental. Keep us posted. I hope your daughter has a quick recovery.

will, I think there's too much to gain from stem cell research. I'm still not 100% conviced about the moral and ethical dilemas.

fuzz, that's a great idea for an epic.

keshi, the number of mice that are subjected to all kinds of testing is incredible. Millions and millions. However, how else are we going to find cures to deadly diseases?

Sar, That's one of my favorites. I think that's a case of really compromising. Could you imagine telling a parent of a child suffering from a deadly disease, like cancer, that you are not going to work to find a cure anymore because you don't want to harm anymore rodents?

This kind of work has so much potential. Imagine - being able to grow stem cells without killing embryos. The mice that had cells removed from their testes were not killed, by the way. In fact, getting some cells from any part of your body is harmless.

Jennifer said...


Today at my mom and tots group, we were actually discussing how virtually unfair it is for women to endure a very painful event like an ovarian cyst (when a simple medical procedure would drain it), and I commented that if MEN got Testicular cysts, and they were forced to wait until they exploded to releive the pain....wait....it would never come to that. :p

Karen said...

"I had no idea a boob could be flattened like that. Incredible"...


Abby said...

Great info...as a side note, adult stem cells are being used regularly with no ethical issues. Those are the stem cells that are recovered from umbilical cords. And scientists have had much luck with adult stem cell research, while they have had very little luck with embryonic stem cell research. Seems like the ethical issue could be dropped already...just study the adult stem cells.

Phats said...

cool learn something new everyday! :)

Haas said...

Hey this can solve the rodent problem as well... I guess once they are in the lab the balls will be busy doing other stuff instead of increasing the family tree :P

the weirdgirl said...

I wonder if this research could still be applied to married couples? As in the wife might be able to use or not reject the husband's cells because she's already been, you know, EXPOSED to his testes... OK, never mind.

angel, jr. said...

Yeah, I'm not going to be a volunteer to have my nuts scraped for that. But kudos to the guys who will do it.

Jay said...

The next time someone offers me another reason to love Mickey, I'm going to refuse.

Curare_Z said...

I wonder how Minnie Mouse feels about all this? First Mickey gets all the press...now his balls can save people's lives? What will that zany rodent think of next!

P.S. Phoenix - I raped your source code to figure out how to post pictures in a posting without making them the size of Antarctica. So, thanks. :-)

David Amulet said...

I am still shuddering at the line: "The process would involve removing testicular cells from a male patient."


-- david

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Mice balls?

When I first read the title, I thought "Man, those toothpicks must be REALLY small!!!"

You know...like those little b-b-q cocktail weenies they have on toothpicks at parties???


Cari said...

Any takers in the room?

Thank heaven's I am all woman!!

DaBich said...

uhh..just thinking here...using human tesicular cells to repair male brain problems...now THAT'S SKEERY! LOL

DaBich said...

Karen~Just had my mammo...damn, that hurts! lol

Perplexio said...

David: That soccer coach is standing behind you right now just waiting to tell you to "walk it off!"

The Phoenix said...

karen, really - the flattenness just boggles my mind.

abby, embryonic stell cell usage is on the decline, as scientists are finding alternatives.

phats, no problem. By the way - you guys make great music.

haas, I don't think anything can stop rodents from doing the nasty.

WG, you mean through that exposure, her body would already be familiar with her hubby's balls. That would be an interesting experiment.

Angel, Kudos for nuts.

Miss Jay, Are you more a Goofy fan?

Curare, At least Minnie has a normal sounding voice. Hey - rape away!

David, yeah - anytime you see "removal" and "testicles," I get this aching pain...

Stacy, thanks for that visual. I think I have heartburn now.

cari, Yeah - you don't have to give up any cells and such, but when you get Parkinson's, where are you going to get stem cells from???

dabich, You're right. A guy could have nut cells in his brain!!!

perplexio, I mashed my toe against a chair this morning...I actually DID walk it off.

Jennifer said...

"Scientists concluded females don't have balls."

Testicles and ovaries are the same basic structure. Until 8 weeks gestation the baby has primordial gonads, the default sex is female unless the "y" is present, then it tells the gonads to develop into testes vs ovaries. In a way, it makes sense that you could indeed find stem cells in the testes. They just havent looked hard or long enough.

Er...or were you joking. :p

The Phoenix said...

I was joking...In reading the Japanese doctor's research, the ovaries were indeed the first place they looked. For some strange reason, they were just not able to get viable stem cells from them at all.

Strange, huh?

Ben Heller said...

My eyes watered just reading that story.

Besides, most men's brain cells are in their pants anyway I was told.

KC said...

Not only do you write very interesting posts, but the comments are always just as much fun to read!

The Phoenix said...

Ben, Ha! That's a great one.

Kim C, I know...You know, I think I love reading everybody's comments more than actually blogging.

Mimi said...

I wanna know-what scientist was sitting around and then the light bulb suddenly went on over his head and he said, "Hey, I know! Lets try using mice testes"!

Perplexio said...

If viable stem cells can be found in the testes, does that mean that Semen Semenov may have been holding the cure for Cancer in his scrotum?

Dirk the Feeble said...

I fail to see how this testical method is any more human or ethical than the embryo thing. I think the doctor that came up with this idea is clearly a woman.

The Village Idiot said...

Ok come on

Having a few cells removed can't be worse than a vasectomy or a huge crotch test...for those who wonder, crotch testing is mtn bike slang for when the saddle forcibly slams into said testicles, most likely loosening up a few cells in the process. I would take a sharp needle any day

Oh, and phoenix, it is only sunny it Seattle two days a year. Our two days of summer, July 5th and July 6th.

Big Pissy said...

Love the title of the post!

Love the comments!


Anhoni Patel said...

mice balls, uh?

phoenix, how *do* you find these things?

ps. hi

Leon said...

Poor mice. Losing their family jewels for science.

Keshi said...

**However, how else are we going to find cures to deadly diseases?

Survival of the fittest...no choice here!


Josh said...

So wrong...just so wrong...and painful

phred said...

Dude, I know this has nothing to do with your post, but...
Check out the SEPCO website. It is GONE! Yeah, GONE.
Replaced by some internet domain sales pitch.
Government cover up maybe?
Maybe with your investigative talents, you could research this and bring your readers some answers.
Inquiring minds want to know.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Good stuff. Now I'll have a better appreciation for things next time I get knocked in the nads.

Laurie said...

Interesting for sure... I'm not sure that if it comes to harvesting the cells from men, that they will be lining up to be donors... ouch.

Anyway - I wanted to mention that I saw a special the other night (can't remember what channel) about some people in Florida looking for Bigfoot; it made me think of you :-) But it raised a question: If Bigfoot has been around all this time, how come there has never been a carcass found? I'm sure they don't live forever, so how come no one has ever run across the body of one that has passed? Just wondering..!

Laurie said...

Thanks - I knew you'd be able to answer that! :-)

PDD said...

As Pinky so brilliantly pointed out a while back: Life begins during his mastubatory sessions. I add: that is why the our religous friends believe masturbation is a sin.

I know that dopamine is nearly absent with parkinson's patients. I once read that an overage of dopamine causes schizophrenia. Is this correct?

Wow! Michael J. Fox is sure missing out on a good time.

Umm... regarding the mice, can I use my cat when things get awry?

The Phoenix said...

Too much dopamine in the brain can cause a person to have paranoia and turn schitzo, yeah.

Regarding cats, do they have balls???

PDD said...

Oh yeah, shit, we chopped off Toby's (my cat) balls a long time ago. Shit!

Jillian said...

Oh...My...Goodness - HA HA!!

I just read Jim's comment...oh boy that was funny!!

Yeah I think that we should also do stem cell research - it's a fascinating topic with a lot of people either with it or against it - but more people are going to the 'with it' side.

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