December 3, 2023

Chinese scientists create brain cells from urine

Chinese scientists have created brain cells from urine

More news on the stem cell front (not the embryonic kind). Chinese scientists have created brain cells from urine. Since there is no shortage of this and since collecting it is not invasive, their technique is very promising. It might be possible to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease – which has been the Holy Grail of stem cell research. 

Writing in the journal Nature Methods, scientists from Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that they were able to reprogram the urine cells to become neural cells without passing through pluripotency. They did this with a clever technique which did not involve shuttling genes from genetically engineered viruses into the target cell. This seems to result in harmful mutations.  

Michael Cook
Creative commons
iPS cells
stem cells