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Taking the piss… and turning it into brain cells! 

By  Lysette Offley

Taking the piss… and turning it into brain cells - photo of scientist with flaskNo I’m not! Taking the piss, that is.

But that’s exactly what some scientists are doing! Instead of using embryonic stem cells, which can have a serious side-effect, such as developing tumours when transplanted, it seems that your bog-standard (‘scuse the pun!) cells found in urine can be relatively easily persuaded into neural progenitor cells – the precursor of neurons.

We’ve become used to the idea of stem cells being deliberately cultured to create useful cells that can be used in the body, but apparently a much more readily available source of the requisite cells can be found in urine.

What’s more, the process takes half the time and appears to avoid the risk of developing tumours. Of course, the idea is that these very special cells can be easily collected from the same patient who is to benefit from them.

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So, a promising start then!

How many of us wouldn’t mind an extra brain cell or two?

But unless you know what you’re doing, for goodness sake, don’t try this at home!

Lysette Offley


With 40 years of experience, Lysette Offley is a Memory and Mindset Coach to women and men at the top of their game in the Financial Services Industry who recognise the value of continual personal and professional development and support to achieve a healthy work-life balance, along with satisfaction and fulfilment.

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