March 28, 2005
About 15,000 women had cosmetic surgery last year, according to figures from the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons, up from 9,916 in 2003. In the US, about 6.2 million people need plastic surgery for medical reasons, mostly following the removal of a tumour. The same number again have plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. Professor Mao has developed a method of isolating the patient's stem cells, culturing them into a fatty tissue mass, and then building it around a "scaffold" of the correct shape for breasts or lips.
Professor Mao said he first took adipose stem cells from a human donor and isolated the fat-generating cells. These were mixed with a chemical, hydrogel, "which can be moulded into any given shape or dimension". Hydrogel is a lightweight material licensed for use in medicine.
Notice anything interesting about the paragraph above? No embryonic stem cells were used. I'm certain that Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Peter Jenning and Tom Brokaw will lead with that fact. Any. Minute. Now.
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