Stem cells are considered essential to the study of regenerative medicine, but because of their limited life span, they often create expensive and time-consuming barriers for scientists and doctors who have to continuously obtain fresh samples from bone marrow donors. Now though, with funding from the National Institutes of Health and New York State Stem Cell Science, biomedical researchers at the University of Buffalo have created a new cell line called “MSC Universal” that grows continuously without aging or forming tumors. These genetically altered mesenchymal adult stem cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, and beta-pancreatic cell types. Scientists are hopeful that this breakthrough will speed the development of cost-effective treatments for specific diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. “If you want to make stem cell therapies feasible, affordable, and reproducible,” states Techung Lee, PhD, who led the study at the University of Buffalo, “...you have to overcome a few hurdles. Part of the problem in our health care industry is that you have a treatment, but it often costs too much...The cells we have engineered grow continuously in the laboratory, which brings down the price of treatments.” Researchers are hopeful that this potentially unlimited supply of stem cells will bring many new regenerative therapies to the market.