New Source of Stem Cells: Amniotic Fluid

Scientists reported Sunday they had found a plentiful source of stem cells in the fluid that cushions babies in the womb and produced a variety of tissue types from these cells — sidestepping the controversy over destroying embryos for research.

The researchers not only succeeded in separating the progenitor cells from the many cells residing in the watery fluid in the placenta surrounding an embryo, but were also able to coax the cells to differentiate into muscle, bone, fat, blood vessel, liver and nerve cells.

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