Squeezing mature cells to become stem cells

S'pore scientists' chemical-free method may open new field in regenerative medicine

The method developed by Professor G.V. Shivashankar and his team lowers the risk of stem cells going awry when they are used to treat patients.
The method developed by Professor G.V. Shivashankar and his team lowers the risk of stem cells going awry when they are used to treat patients.PHOTO: COURTESY OF MECHANO-BIOLOGY INSTITUTE, SINGAPORE.

When an embryo is days old, its powerful embryonic stem cells grow without limit, turning themselves into any cell the body needs.

But as these cells mature, their scope is limited to the function defined for them. For years, scientists have explored ways to return mature cells into an embryonic-like, or pluripotent, state.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2018, with the headline 'Squeezing mature cells to become stem cells'. Subscribe