Bleeding for SCIENCE!

Menstrual Blood: A Valuable Source Of Multipotential Stem Cells?

Researchers seeking new and more abundant sources of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine have identified a potentially unlimited, noncontroversial, easily collectable, and inexpensive source — menstrual blood.

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Tests showed that MenSCs could differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, ectodermal, mesodermal, cardiogenic, and neural cell lineages. According to Patel, the sample MenSCs expanded rapidly and maintained greater than 50 percent of their telomerase activity when compared to human embryonic stem cells and better than bone marrow-derived stem cells.

Our ability to bear children is considered a handicap, a burden, a weakness, even by some who consider themselves pro-woman. Breastfeeding in public is still considered obscene by many. Menstruation is a taboo — we’ve all heard the jokes about how nobody wants to see commercials for those products. Hell, I’ve made them.

Funny, isn’t it, how that which is life-giving in women is so often that which is reviled?