Reversing Autism in the Lab with the Help of Stem Cells and the Tooth Fairy

1/13/2015; 24 minutes

People with autism have difficulty with language and social interaction as if they are trapped inside their own brains. There is no cure. Dr. Alysson Muotri of UCSD devised a Fairy Tooth Kit Collection campaign in which autistic and unaffected kids could donate their baby teeth when they fell out. Using the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technique, Muotri's team extracted pulp cells in the teeth and converted them into brain cells. The autistic brain cells showed distinct deficiencies in the petri dish which could be reversed. In this seminar presented to the governing Board of California's Stem Cell Agency, Dr. Muotri describes these results in more detail. (#28241)

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