Stem cells and preventive medicine

CIRM grantee and UC Davis stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler has an important new entry on his blog: Five simple ways to protect your stem cells. In it he says:

If one can prevent a problem for occurring in the first place, it is far better than trying to treat it after the fact.

So true. Of course, many of the diseases CIRM scientists are involved in trying to treat aren’t ones with known causes. We can’t prevent our way out of all disease. But in the process of making discoveries to develop therapies, CIRM scientists are learning more about our own natural stem cells and how to keep them healthy. For example, exercise seems to fortify the neural stem cells that rebuild our brain.

Among his recommendations:

  • Protect your skin stem cells
  • Avoid plastics exposure
  • Eat food, not chemicals
  • Exercise
  • Avoid radiation

So for the good of your stem cells get outside and exercise. But first, put on sunscreen.