Complete breast is grown from single stem cell

A complete, functioning breast has been grown from a single stem cell, by researchers in Australia. It was done in a mouse, but experts believe it won’t be long before it happens in humans.

“Until now, no one has been able to take one cell and make it do everything involved in a fully-functioning, milk-producing breast,” notes postdoctoral fellow Kaylene Simpson, who set up the experiment before moving to Harvard Medical School. “There were lots of technical obstacles to overcome and it was very difficult to attract funding at first.”

Comparing the differences in development between normal and tumorous breasts could lead to new treatments that attack the earliest stages of breast cancer. Simpson also mentions the possibility of growing new breasts to replace those lost to surgery. As such medical applications become more likely, commercial interest in using stem cells to enhance breast size could also grow larger.

Read more: Harvard Gazette

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