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Katie Beacom

Bio 1090
News Analysis 1
Researchers explored the mix of cell populations to heal bone defects. In the past, studies
have investigated fat tissue cells in bone reparation with unsatisfactory results. A theory in stem
cell studies is that a homogenous cell population works together to contribute to regeneration.
For this study, the focus was on isolation of subpopulations to pinpoint which would work best.
The study found that two different cell populations, pericytes and adventicytes, can be effective
when working together. The functions of these cells were clarified by isolating the two
populations and applying them alone and together to skull defects in mice. Microcomputed
tomography imaging took place eight weeks later to see the results of the isolated pericytes,
isolated adventicytes and the combination of the two. The bone formation for the test subjects
with just one but not the other cell were not as solid as those with both cells. Additional tests
concluded that pericytes contributes to blood vessel growth while adventicytes stimulates bone
cell formation, making them an effective combination. Further studies will categorize cell types
and functional differences.
The discoveries made by this study can greatly impact public health. As the article said,
“​beyond a certain size, bone deficits cannot heal on their own” (ScienceDaily, 2019). This
advancement in stem cell research can help to repair bone damage that otherwise would not be
possible. From defects to extreme breaks, this study opens a new world of possibility. While this
may not affect healthcare practices for average bone breaks, it is conceivable that this could
replace the use of prosthetics and implants in certain cases. One day, it may be possible to see
spinal cord injuries or defects such as spina bifida that cause paralysis to be curable with the use
of cell populations such as adventicytes and pericytes.
The researchers mentioned in the article are affiliated with John Hopkins University. This
makes the study trustworthy. John Hopkins is a medical and research organization and, since
they are not a for-profit company, they are simply reporting on their findings and not trying to
sway the public. If the study was performed or backed by a for-profit institution, it may still be
accurate and of value but findings may be more biased. While it is hard to forge bone cell
growth, not all facts might be presented by a for-profit organization; rather that conducting
further studies to explore more cell functions, the possible cure for bone defects may be rushed
to market, as there is definitely a demand for any effective means of bone healing.
I never had a problem with stem cell research so while my view is not changed, it is more
justified now. I think that any possibility of improving public health relates back to the role of
science and is necessary in our evolving population. I chose the article because it is fascinating to
imagine cures and solutions that have not seemed possible in the past. The thought that there
might be a day when paralyzation is not permanent and chronic pain is not commonplace is
intriguing. The article was extremely effective because it was both unbiased yet gave enough
background for the study to be truly impressive. “Cells taken from fat tissue have been tried in
tissue engineering studies for bone repair, but some results have been disappointing.”
(ScienceDaily, 2019). We all have known about stem cell research for some time. The difference
with this study was the approach and the results, “Research led by Johns Hopkins investigators
has uncovered the roles of two types of cells found in the vessel walls of fat tissue and described
how these cells may help speed bone repair.” (ScienceDaily, 2019). The article also explained
hoe these roles were discovered and the scientific process behind the results. I was able to
understand the subject enough to be quite amazed by the findings.


Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Researchers define cells used in bone repair." ScienceDaily.
ScienceDaily, 20 February 2019.

“Johns Hopkins Researchers Define Cells Used in Bone Repair.” ​Hopkins Medicine​, 20 Feb.