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SCIENTISTS HAVE taken another important step towards producing replacement tissues for the body using stem cells. A group in Germany has developed a simpler way to produce these cells using just one special factor instead of the usual four.
The work helps build knowledge of how to produce the most powerful or “pluripotent” stem cells but new treatments using them are still some distance into the future, according to stem cell specialist Dr Stephen Sullivan.
Prof Hans Schöler led the work at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and details are published this morning online by the journal
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Sheng Ding, the leader of a group of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute of the La Jolla University in California, spoke about using chemistry-related techniques to obtain pluripotent stem cells from a miniscule section of skin at Milan University in a conference on stem cells.
Experts were able to cause some skin cells in mice to regress to their embryonic state by injecting four proteins into an adult mouse without performing any sort of DNA manipulation. A technique that, according to their idea, could be safer than techniques based on genetic manipulation. The
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Using skin cells from people with type 1 diabetes, researchers were able to produce cells that made insulin in response to changing blood sugar levels, though not as efficiently as normal insulin-producing cells do. (…) “This is a big deal,” said Susan Solomon, CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, which provided some of the funding for the study. “Tackling the basic biology of type 1 diabetes, which is a very complex disease, is a critical step. With these cells, we can see in a dish what’s happening to the immune system, and if
In a landmark paper, researchers at Stanford University have described a new way to derive human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) without the use of contaminating mouse feeder cells. Using adipose cells as the starting cell population and mTeSR1, a defined medium that allows the expansion of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells without the use of feeders, the researchers were able to fully reprogram the cells to the pluripotent state.
mTeSR1 is a fully defined medium and is the most widely used feeder-independent method for culturing human pluripotent stem cells, with citations in more than 25 publications.
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One factor, not four like a majority of biologists throughout the world have said up until now, is sufficient to convert an adult stem cell into a cell that is similar to an embryonic stem cell. A recipe that is much more simple than what the scientific community has believed has been discovered by Hans Schöler and his colleagues, who include Italians ,Vittorio Sebastiano and Luca Gentile, from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Germany. The study, published in February’s edition of Cell, shows for the first time that nerve stem cells taken from