Wisdom teeth are more useful being in place than out. Scientists discovered that the tissue in wisdom tooth is rich with cells that can be programmed to be IPS (induced pluripotent stem cells). In laymen terms these cells are found to be programmable to differentiate into any type of cell very much like the embryonic stem cells.
In general, any of the cells can be programmed to be IPS. Skin cells which can be acquired easily show very low efficiency in bring programmed into pluripotent stem cells.
Now, a team of scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology may have found an ideal source: third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth.
The soft pulp inside of teeth contains a population of cells known as mesenchymal stromal cells that are similar to cells found in bone marrow, a common stem-cell source. However, unlike bone marrow, tooth pulp is more easily obtained, especially in wisdom teeth.
The researchers, led by Hajime Ohgushi, collected tooth samples from three donors and managed to generate a series of iPS cell lines following the similar procedure of activating three key genes.
A risk inherent in triggering stem cells is always that they could become cancerous.
However, in this experiment they found they did not activate the c-MYC gene which might lead the cells to become cancerous.
If you have wisdom tooth removed, you may want it preserved frozen, so that it could be harvested someday. It might be a lifesaving decision for you.