Banking on Baby Teeth

AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMEN, July 17 — A company in Austin, Texas, has opened a new facility for storing an ethical source of stem cells: babies’ teeth.

The Austin American-Statesman reported July 27 that BioEden Inc. opened the facility in June. Pulp inside babies’ teeth is a rich source of stem cells, which are prized by doctors and medical researchers for their ability to transform into a variety of cell types that can be used to repair damaged tissues and organs.

Babies’ teeth stem cells banking is only in its infancy, compared to banks that store umbilical cord blood. That’s because researchers have yet to determine how useful dental stem cells will be in terms of medical treatment, whereas cord stem cells are already in widespread clinical use.

But BioEden is betting that babies’ teeth will prove equally useful as a medical resource.

“We are absolutely confident this will work,” BioEden President Jeff Johnson said. “All indications are this is a wonderful source of stem cells.”

Plating Victory

LIFENEWS.COM, July 27 — Promoters of “Choose Life” license plates in New Jersey last month won their third straight court skirmish with state officials.

A federal judge ruled July 26 that the civil rights lawsuit brought against the state by the Children First Foundation can proceed.

The pro-life group filed suit after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Branch reversed its July 2003 decision approving the “Choose Life” plates.

Children First Foundation president Dr. Elizabeth Rex said, “Now that our lawsuit can finally proceed, we eagerly look forward to winning this important battle for free speech and equal treatment under the law in New Jersey.”