Health Buzz: Stem Cells From Testicles and Other Health News

How to weather financial stress, seeking a cure for type 1 diabetes, and reactions to genetic testing.


Testicles: A New Source of Stem Cells?

Men's testicles contain certain cells that seem to be as versatile as embryonic stem cells, the Associated Press reports. A study, published in Nature, suggests that the cells could possibly be used to help grow replacement tissues for other parts of the body. Using these cells would be far less controversial than using embryonic stem cells, which are harvested in a process that destroys embryos. The German researchers who conducted the study were able to change the testicular cells into heart, bone, pancreatic, and nerve cells. The catch: The benefits of testicle-derived stem cells would probably apply only to men.

U.S. News's On Men blog covers other health topics relevant to men.

How to Handle the Stress of Economic Woes

With the nation's economic system teetering, many Americans are experiencing sleepless nights and emotional distress related to the downturn, Healthday reports. Some advice for people trying to ride out the economic storm with their sanity intact: Don't panic, take bad news with a grain of salt, try to maintain a balanced life, and reassess how you handle money.

Yesterday, Deborah Kotz wrote about how the economic crisis is affecting women's mental health.

Searching for a Cure to Type 1 Diabetes

There is still no cure for type 1 diabetes—aka juvenile onset diabetes—which affects about 30,000 new Americans each year. While that won't change overnight, a series of recent breakthroughs offer hope for a long-elusive cure, reports U.S. News's Lindsay Lyon. Lab researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine have morphed human skin cells into cells that make insulin. And Harvard University scientists have turned noninsulin-making cells in a mouse's pancreas into rarer, insulin-making beta cells.

For more on how to handle the symptoms of diabetes, see this article about using honey as a treatment for infected leg and foot ulcers. Also, this story explains the importance of hitting blood pressure and cholesterol goals when managing diabetes.

Genetic Testing Company Under the Microscope

An embattled gene-testing company has announced plans to study how people react to genetic testing that predicts their risk of developing specific diseases, the Associated Press reports. Navigenics Inc., which charges $2,500 to analyze a person's DNA and offers customers a rundown of their risk of developing more than 20 diseases, has been under fire from public health authorities for offering a test that's said to lack precision and could encourage people to seek inappropriate treatment or could put them through undue emotional stress. The study will track whether genetic tests encourage people to improve health habits, such as their diet, exercise regime, smoking status, and willingness to work with their doctor on preventive care, according to Reuters.

U.S. News recently explored the rise of genetic tests that double as social networking tools.

—Adam Voiland