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Scientists create embryonic-type stem cells without embryos

Published on Jan 29, 2014 8:07 PM
 

LONDON (REUTERS) - In experiments that could open a new era in stem cell biology, scientists have found a cheap and easy way to reprogramme mature cells from mice back into an embryonic-like state that allowed them to generate many types of tissue.

The research, described as game-changing by experts in the field, suggests human cells could in future be reprogrammed by the same technique, offering a simpler way to replace damaged cells or grow new organs for sick and injured people.

Chris Mason, chair of regenerative medicine bioprocessing at University College London, who was not involved in the work, said its approach was "the most simple, lowest-cost and quickest method" to generate so-called pluripotent cells - able to develop into many different cell types - from mature cells.

"If it works in man, this could be the game changer that ultimately makes a wide range of cell therapies available using the patient's own cells as starting material - the age of personalised medicine would have finally arrived," he said.

 
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