I've written a few times about the stem cells identified in breastmilk. The last time I wrote about this the open question was whether the stem cells behave like embryonic stem cells - able to be 'reprogrammed' into new tissue.
It now appears that we have the answer. New research from the University of Western Australia is now showing that these cells can be directed to become other cell types:
Serious and fatal diseases such as pancreatic cancer, Parkinson's disease and diabetes may eventually be treated using stem cells from breast milk following a remarkable discovery at the University of Western Australia.
UWA PhD student Foteini Hassiotou has potentially broken through the greatest hurdle in stem cell research - the ability to ethically obtain stem cells in a non-invasive manner.
Her finding that stem cells from breast milk can be directed to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells, could reduce the need to use embryonic stem cells and therefore fast-track future therapies.