Tag Archives: Induced pluripotent stem cell

Researchers Hail Stem Cells Safe for Human Use

Stem-cell science is a fast-moving field. Just three years since a Japanese researcher first reprogrammed ordinary skin cells into stem cells without the use of embryos, scientists at a Massachusetts biotech company have repeated the feat, only this time with a new method that creates the first stem cells safe enough for human use. The achievement brings the potentially lifesaving technology one step closer to real treatments for disease.

Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), reported today in the journal Cell that his team has created stem cells using human skin cells and four proteins.
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Stem cell-gene therapy technique cures genetic disease in human cell line

Image by JohnnyRokkit via Flickr

Scientists are one step closer to creating a gene therapy/stem cell combination to combat genetic diseases. With work, this research may lead to not only curing the disease, but also repairing the damage left behind.

While gene therapy is a burgeoning field that has shown great results in treating genetic disorders, many of those diseases leave behind heavily damaged tissue that the body is unable to repair. So even if the disease is completely eradicated, quality of life may not necessarily improve, and without help, health can still continue to deteriorate.

Since stem cell research began, there
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Not all cellular reprogramming is created equal

Tweaking the levels of factors used during the reprogramming of adult cells into induced pluriopotent stem (iPS) cells greatly affects the quality of the resulting iPS cells, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

“This conclusion is something that I think is very surprising or unexpected—that the levels of these reprogramming factors determine the quality of the iPS cells,” says Whitehead Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch. “We never thought they’d make a difference, but they do.”

An article describing this work is published in the December 2 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

“This conclusion is something that I think is very surprising or unexpected—that the
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Scientists bypass stem cells to create nervous system cells

Mouse skin cells can be converted directly into cells that become the three main parts of the nervous system, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The finding is an extension of a previous study by the same group showing that mouse and human skin cells can be directly converted into functional neurons.

The multiple successes of the direct conversion method could refute the idea that pluripotency (a term that describes the ability of stem cells to become nearly any cell in the body) is necessary for a cell to transform from one cell type to another.
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