Project to treat babies with stem cells from human milk

In a significant piece of research that will help ailing babies, scientists have discovered the presence of stem cells in human breast milk. Gynaecologist and infertility specialist Dr Satish Patki from Kolhapur and retired senior scientist from the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) Dr Ramesh Bhonde have for the first time documented the presence of stem cells in human milk.

A pilot study has already been undertaken where the stem cells will be given orally to sick babies, Patki said.

Speaking at a conference in Pune on Monday, Patki said the research was accepted for publication in the 23 rd volume of Human Cell, a peer review journal. The duo had earlier documented the presence of stem cells in uterus and fallopian tube. Australian researcher Dr Mark Cregan in 2008 had demonstrated the presence of putative stem like cells in human milk but the research did not document the pleuropotent differentiation potential of the cells.