Ethical and practical pluripotent stem cells even closer now
Only one transcription factor needed
Scientists have come even closer to
developing pluripotent stem cells without destroying embryos. An
article in the journal Cell shows that a single transcription factor
can transform neural stem cells into cells with malleability of
embryonic stem cells Transcription factors are genes that control the
activity of other genes. Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese scientist who
first developed "induced pluripotent stem cells", used 4 genes. This
was soon pared down to 2 or 3 – and now possibly to 1. A leading stem
cell scientist, Hans Schöler of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular
Biomedicine in Germany, says, "Now we’ve come down to just one that is
sufficient. In terms of the biology, it’s really quite amazing." ~ Science Daily, Feb 6
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