Like our cellphones, once the batteries start draining quickly with use, and we can't replace the batteries, it's time to replace the phones.
Mitochondria are our batteries, the elixir of eternal youth. Can we replace them?
Yes we can! We can replenish our jaded mitochondria with fresh ones from mesenchymal stem cells. Intercellular mitochondria transfer through nanotubules, the conduit to staying forever young and strong!
Apart from producing growth factors or differentiating into the cells they are supposed to help regenerate, mesenchymal stem cells have another means to this end: mitochondria donation.
Potentially, any distressed or exhausted cell can hijack and milk mesenchymal stem cells to cheat death and get a new lease on life and vitality. The fear that cancers may do just that was borne out by a recent report of a massive spinal tumour developing after repeated intrathecal injections of stem cells in a bid to recover from a stroke.