Scientists finally discover what “pluripotent” means
California researcher sets out standards
Although it may surprise laymen, stem cell scientists have not known how to
confirm whether a cell was pluripotent or not. In other words, reprogrammed
cells, cells from menstrual blood, cells from amniotic fluid, and even cells
from teeth have all been touted as equivalent to embryonic stem cells. But
scientists did not know how to confirm that they were. "It’s kind of been a
dirty little secret that we haven’t been able to do this before, although it was
an obvious thing to try to do," says Jeanne Loring, of The Scripps Research
Institute in California. But now that seems to have changed. In a paper
published in Nature, Dr Loring has identified key biological indicators that are
present in all pluripotent stem cells. The test is also affordable – about
US$250. ~ San
Diego Union-Tribune, Aug 25
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