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The Embedded Dangers of Untested Stem Cell Cosmetics
December 17, 2012 1:25 PM   Subscribe


 
SERIOUSLY DO NOT GET PLASTIC SURGERY FROM RANDOM PEOPLE.

"squick" doesn't quite describe this.
posted by GuyZero at 1:28 PM on December 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ew.
posted by Maisie at 1:33 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is a freaky confluence of bone growing factors in your eye socket.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Things are more Frankensteinian out there than I'd realized.

Really, I think there should be a compelling reason to be an early adopter for techniques like this.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:34 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, gross.
posted by boo_radley at 1:39 PM on December 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stems cells are the blue light/radiation/electricity/leeches/quantum vibrations/etc. of the current age. Eventually, they will be figured out and the true believers/charlatans will move on to another product.

(I was trying to come up with truly discredited theories that no longer have many followers, like using Radon to treat cancer, not just the absolutely absurd theories that are still used as scams like Homeopathy)
posted by Hactar at 1:40 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I bet not a few body mod enthusiasts are pretty excited about this news.
posted by figment of my conation at 1:42 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Grow your own horns!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:43 PM on December 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Awesome!

I mean, how unfortunate, I hope everyone is okay.

/Starts figuring out story idea featuring face injected with tiny shoggoths.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends against using the Lament Configuration in lieu of consulting a board-certified practitioner.
posted by theodolite at 1:45 PM on December 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


Really, I think there should be a compelling reason to be an early adopter for techniques like this.

Beauty doesn't count?

/sarcasm
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:50 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Among the many problems with doing this on purpose:

The periosteum and endosteum.

Bones aren't homogeneous at all.
posted by poe at 1:54 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't understand people at all.
posted by tommasz at 2:04 PM on December 17, 2012


Jesus, people, they're just fucking wrinkles. What the fuck makes you so scared of them that you'd inject 1,000s of dollars of mystery substances into your face? Gah.

Yes, aging is scary. Happens to us all the same. Fucking up your body with quack-medicine is not going to hold off the Grim Reaper.
posted by emjaybee at 2:05 PM on December 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


What can you expect when the commercials for dog food are more scientifically accurate than women's cosmetic products. The amount of psuedo-scientistic bafflegab targeted at women is incredible.
posted by srboisvert at 2:09 PM on December 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Jesus fuck, I thought "black goo" was bad enough, but now I have worry about stem cells?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:10 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus, people, they're just fucking wrinkles. What the fuck makes you so scared of them that you'd inject 1,000s of dollars of mystery substances into your face? Gah.

I do get these opinions, I really do, and clearly this choice was bad but when a woman makes a choice about her appearance please don't assume it's just vanity. I mean, it might be, but enough pressure is put on women about their appearances (personally and professionally) that this is a very tricky issue. I think this is especially true if it's been made clear to you for much of your life that your value comes from how you look; when that starts to go away it can genuinely be terrifying and upsetting and make you feel like you aren't worth anything. I'm not saying that makes stuff like this right, I'm just saying it's generally better to be charitable to people in bad situations than tell them why their values are wrong.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:11 PM on December 17, 2012 [52 favorites]


Next up: Injecting nanotechnology into stem cells!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:13 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Where's the "cronenberg" tag?
posted by brundlefly at 2:23 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is horrific... Sounds like it came from a sci fi novel. God damn.
posted by spiderskull at 2:24 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jesus, people, they're just fucking wrinkles. What the fuck makes you so scared of them that you'd inject 1,000s of dollars of mystery substances into your face? Gah.

Money and love. Status, too. With an actress the connection to the first is obvious, but you gotta figure that if the woman lives in Beverly Hills and is in a position to drop $20,000 cash on a cosmetic procedure she's likely to have a partner with considerable income and plenty of opportunities to spend that income on young, beautiful aspiring-whatevers that flock to LA, should they get bored with said woman. And of course, being able to maintain youthfulness is always admirable---who doesn't admire Tina Turner or Sophia Loren?--- while the failure to so may be a source of social shaming and status loss the next time you roll up to a blck tie gala at the Getty.

Self-implanting a terratoma may be a little far for most, however....
posted by Diablevert at 2:27 PM on December 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


When you start getting the Old People catalogs... You will find stem cell creams you can send for. Here I thought they were fake stem cells... Weird!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:31 PM on December 17, 2012


Mrs. Pterodactyl has a really good point.

To those judging the woman for her supposed vanity: I think that more consideration should be given to the rampant ageism that professionals face in the workplace. I am open to opposing opinions, but I have personally seen that high-placed women uniquely face extremely stringent attention to how "tired" or "old" that they look (as if that directly impacted their abilities). Looking younger could literally save someone's career in some circumstances and $30K for another decade of salary is a very good investment. It isn't right, but it does happen.


As far as the article, I am really really glad there aren't pictures because I don't know how much more strongly I could have reacted. Yikes.
posted by Vysharra at 2:34 PM on December 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I always find it weird that this community is so opposed to beauty treatments but consistently advises people who are no longer as attracted to their spouse as they once were to DTMFA. There's some serious dissonance there.
posted by fshgrl at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


This is totally how we get Weeping Angels. It's why they cover their faces!
posted by maryr at 2:49 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always find it weird that this community is so opposed to beauty treatments but consistently advises people who are no longer as attracted to their spouse as they once were to DTMFA. There's some serious dissonance there.

Not necessarily, if the reasons people give for no longer being attracted to their spouses are not appearance/physical attractiveness ones.
posted by juv3nal at 2:53 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else read this article and think, "This is why I'm okay with the FDA holding drugs up for years and years." ?
posted by d. z. wang at 2:54 PM on December 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


Seriously though, awesome way to prove that the calcium hydroxylapatite induces osteocyte formation in vivo. (Or is this in situ?) I love molecular biology so much...I mean, as long as it isn't in my eyes.
posted by maryr at 2:57 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


My reactions, in order:

"Holy crap, really? Eeeeew."

"Oh good, she can still see."

"Goddamn, we're so advanced that a quack plastic surgeon can make a human being grow new bone mass. FUTURE!"
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:20 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


...if the woman lives in Beverly Hills and is in a position to drop $20,000 cash on a cosmetic procedure she's likely to have a partner with considerable income...

Or perhaps the income is her own.
posted by kamikazegopher at 3:21 PM on December 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


Eventually, they will be figured out and the true believers/charlatans will move on to another product.

Having been through physical chemistry I think I'm well qualified to say that we have a rock solid handle on Cl- OH- and even CH3COO-. This has not slowed down the negative ion woo one little bit, so I think your optimism is unfounded.

The good news is that my dream of culturing up my own bone cells and using a 3-D printer to make a flute out of my own femur is apparently a lot more doable than I had thought.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:22 PM on December 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Tetsuo the Bone Man
posted by exlotuseater at 3:36 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's no earthly way I'm clicking on that link, but let me express my gratitude that no one has yet to describe any part of my body as, 'largely intact.'

May my good fortune continue.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:57 PM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know this woman's situation, I'm not calling her shallow; I'm calling her someone who takes dangerous risks with her life, to avoid wrinkles which is foolish. It's possible this was her only way to stay in a loveless marriage that supported her, but it's also possible she let herself be swayed by a quack for no good reason at all.

Yes, the patriarchy makes us all do stupid things, but at some point you might want to look at that 20k and decide maybe a divorce lawyer is a better investment than random shit injected in your face that might kill or disfigure you.
posted by emjaybee at 3:58 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


But juv3nal, they always are physical ones.
posted by fshgrl at 4:03 PM on December 17, 2012


...if the woman lives in Beverly Hills and is in a position to drop $20,000 cash on a cosmetic procedure she's likely to have a partner with considerable income...

Or perhaps the income is her own. (kamikazegopher)


I think the implication was more that people marry near their own stations in life, and so a woman with that many zeros on her loose change, living in an area with that kind of median income, is unlikely to have paired up with a broke grad student.
posted by d. z. wang at 4:07 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess the shakier assumption is that the procedure's cost was not a significant sum for her, but my understanding is that novel cosmetic procedures tend to be marketed toward the rich first, so even this assumption seems reasonable.
posted by d. z. wang at 4:09 PM on December 17, 2012


But juv3nal, they always are physical ones.
A case could be argued, I suppose, that the underlying unstated reason is always physical, but on askme, you're supposed to take people at their word and I doubt physical reasons are even the most commonly given reason, much less the one always given. Even a cursory search shows people considering dtmfa due to a perceived lack of interest on their partner's part, or financial troubles, unresolved psychological issues etc.
posted by juv3nal at 4:33 PM on December 17, 2012


all your dentata fears are now feasible
posted by Fupped Duck at 5:13 PM on December 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, shit. I didn't even have any dentata fears until you just mentioned the possibility!
posted by Burhanistan at 5:28 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


A case could be argued, I suppose, that the underlying unstated reason is always physical

It wouldn't be a very good case, because it only works if being physically attractive is enough. However, even if you grant that being physically attractive is necessary (and many would disagree with that), it's definitely not sufficient.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:31 PM on December 17, 2012


I'm calling her someone who takes dangerous risks with her life, to avoid wrinkles which is foolish.

Did she know she was taking a dangerous risk with her life?

The market--as the article points out--is full of companies hocking treatments that aren't proven and sometimes may even be dangerous. These companies cloak the unproven nature of their products behind the respectable language of medicine and health: antioxidants, retinols, stem cells -- whatever buzzword is currently popular. They use graphics of fake molecules and actors in lab coats.

Meanwhile, guests on talk shows, articles in ladies' mags, are also praising the benefits of the latest, greatest, look-younger feel-better compound.

If you don't know much about science or skepticism, it can be very confusing and hard to tell what's legitimate and what's not. You don't know how to evaluate the content, so you can be mislead by the packaging.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:46 PM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frank Zappa said it best when he sang, "Beauty knows no pain..."
posted by ReeMonster at 6:08 PM on December 17, 2012


We should've injected some kind of super-osteoclast cell line into her to eat the bones! Problem solved! Unless something goes horribly wrong.
posted by Mister_A at 6:35 PM on December 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sounds like her complication had a little complication.
posted by carsonb at 7:29 PM on December 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm a little surprised to see so many people bring gender issues into this. There are plenty of men in LA getting weird plastic surgery, too. Would we invent theories about choosy Sugar Mommas if the victim of this process had been a man? It just seems unnecessary to me.

I think it's a cultural issue more than a gender issue. Some people approach "having some work done" on their faces with the same degree of seriousness that the rest of us have when we approach a bathroom remodeling project or the undertaking of buying a car. And surgeons are trained to project confidence and trustworthiness in exactly the way car salespeople never seem to. Surgeons can be very effective at selling their services. It's aspirational consumption, it's a status marker, it's fitting in with one's peer group, it's a potential conversation topic.

And it could also be a reminder of just how much separates the slightly rich from the average in this land of ours.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:09 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the implication was more that people marry near their own stations in life, and so a woman with that many zeros on her loose change, living in an area with that kind of median income, is unlikely to have paired up with a broke grad student

It's not that the assumption is wrong, it's that it's irrelevant. If it were a man who underwent a elective $20K medical procedure, would anyone note that his wife probably makes a lot of money?
posted by cotterpin at 1:45 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yep, cotterpin has it. Check your sexist assumptions.

I wonder how many discoveries might be made out of disturbing not-recommended usage. Good and bad. Bones in the eye - gah!
posted by agregoli at 1:17 PM on December 18, 2012


cotterpin, don't forget that the original comment came from Diablevert. I just wanted to make sure kamikazegopher wasn't misinterpreting it.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:57 PM on December 18, 2012


i'm very disappointed that article didn't have pictures. lame.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:50 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or perhaps the income is her own.

Sure, it doesn't really matter. I mentioned it only to point out that being able to spend that kind of money indicates something about class and milleau. The suggestion was that having the proceedure was mere vanity, far too trivial a need to risk one's health for; what I was trying to get at is that beneath such vanities are often some pretty primal drives. If a bower bird exhausts itself collecting trinkets to attract a mate, we nod and say of course, in that particular biome there's very high selection pressure when it comes to mating, lots of competition, got to put in the extra effort to stand out. And what is LA if not that, for humans?
posted by Diablevert at 10:39 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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