Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Designer Vaginas Grown In Lab

I've been very busy at work; busy at home; exhausted from fighting rush hour traffic in the near constant rain that has hovered over North Texas for weeks.

That's the only way I can explain missing a story of this significance.
An Italian doctor has reconstructed vaginas for two women born with a rare congenital deformation, using their own cells to build vaginal tissue in the lab for the first time.

Professor Cinzia Marchese of University Sapienza in Rome says a 28-year-old woman who underwent the first such operation a year ago now has a healthy vagina.

"She has got married and is living a normal life," says Marchese, a professor of clinical pathology and biotechnology whose study is published in the journal Human Reproduction.

The second operation was on a 17-year-old girl. The researchers took cells by biopsy from where her vagina should be and say the cells should grow in the lab to provide mucosal tissue, from which to 'build' a new vagina.

Mucosal tissue is found inside the vagina, the mouth and elsewhere in the body and has important attributes distinct from ordinary skin.

The two women have a condition called Mayer-von Rokitansky-K├╝ster-Hauser syndrome, or MRKHS for short, which affects an estimated one in 4000 to 5000 female infants.

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