A biotech company is claiming that two types of potent adult stem cells with different benefits are in fact one and the same, which if true suggests the discovery of what could prove to be the ultimate adult stem cell.

Present in everyone and less controversial than embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have traditionally been considered somewhat limited in their therapeutic applications.

In 2002, however, Catherine Verfaillie of the University of Minnesota announced the discovery of multipotent adult progenitor cells that, like embryonic stem cells, are capable of developing into all tissues in the body.

Another promising type of adult stem cell is the mesenchymal stem cell, being developed for treatments by Baltimore, Maryland-based Osiris Therapeutics. MSCs haven’t proven to make all tissues in the body, but they appear to cause little or no immune reaction when transplanted from one person to another, making them highly valuable.

Now, according to New Scientist, researchers from biotech company Genzyme say that MAPCs and MSCs are the same cells.

If the claim is valid, it suggests the existence of an adult stem cell that can develop into all tissues and can be transplanted without causing an immune reaction.

More here.