In a fresh demonstration of science’s newfound ability to alter the basic units of human life, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have turned the cells in human skin into those in the liver, work that opens new avenues for treating diseases of the liver without relying on organ transplants.
Professor and stem cell researcher Stephen A. Duncan and other scientists in his lab reported this week in the journal Hepatology that they have created reprogrammed mouse liver cells that were identical to those grown in nature and were able to integrate and grow alongside those in a mouse
Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that can cause inflammation and organ failure, has different effects on different people. But no one is sure why some people are very susceptible to the infection, while others are resistant.
Scientists believe that if they could study liver cells from different people in the lab, they could determine how genetic differences produce these varying responses. However, liver cells are difficult to obtain and notoriously difficult to grow in a lab dish because they tend to lose their normal structure and function when removed from the body.
Now, researchers from MIT, Rockefeller University and the Medical
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI), the world’s largest commercial producer of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and tissue cells, today announced the launch of its MyCell™ Services. These services include novel iPS cell line reprogramming, genetic engineering and differentiation of iPS cells into commercially available iCell® terminal tissue cells (for example, heart or nerve cells).
“CDI’s mission is to be the top developer and manufacturer of standardized human cells in high quantity, quality and purity and to make these cells widely available to the research community. Our MyCell Services provide researchers with unprecedented access to the full diversity