Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Novel human cell types

The prospect of being able to grow replacement organs could prove a boon to doctors and patients. Being able to revert cells to more pluripotent states, then direct them to develop into specific tissue types, could similar benefit human health.

I wonder though, about the potential benefits of creating new tissue types. We know cells differentiate into distinct types; estimates include 210 or several hundred. Certainly we can imagine more! If we needed ideas, we could ask plant and animal histologists for some from other species.

I would speculate that some of these cell types could be helpful to human health- extending the healthspan or treating disease, for instance. I'll brainstorm a few below- which novel cell types would you like to see?

Novel human cell types

  • Antibiotic eccrine glands (secrete antibiotics when infected)
  • Andrenaloid inhibitors (for reducing andrenaline levels more quickly after the need has passed)
  • Neuroprogenitors (for replacing damaged neuron tissue)
  • Acinar glucanoids (for regulating blood glucose levels)
  • Telomerioblasts (for lengthening telomeres)
  • Carcinophages (for "eating" tumor cells) 
  • Carcinocyte (for "tagging" tumor cells)
  • Arteriocilia (for sweeping up build-up in arteries)

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