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Making Stem Cells from Skin


#1


Stem Cell: Paul Leonard/Photo Researchers
Embryonic stem cells, which can be coaxed to turn into any kind of cell type, have been hailed as a 21st-century panacea. But they are fraught with ethical problems because they come from embryos. Last November, two teams of scientists turned ordinary adult skin cells into pluripotent stem cells—capable of becoming any kind of tissue—a feat that could solve the ethical problem forever. Here’s how one group did it.

  1. The scientists, led by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan, identified 24 genes that are active in embryonic stem cells but not in adult cells. They deposited combinations of the 24 genes into the DNA of adult mouse skin cells.

  2. They found that just four of the original 24 genes will turn adult cells into stem cells. The scientists aren’t quite sure what the genes do. They think two of the genes code for proteins that encourage further protein synthesis.

  3. The scientists repeated their experiment on human adult skin cells using the same four genes as in the mouse model. The human cells also turned into stem cells and then differentiated into brain and heart cells.


#2

»
» http://www.popsci.com/melinda-wenner/article/2008-09/making-stem-cells-skin
» Stem Cell: Paul Leonard/Photo Researchers
» Embryonic stem cells, which can be coaxed to turn into any kind of cell
» type, have been hailed as a 21st-century panacea. But they are fraught with
» ethical problems because they come from embryos. Last November, two teams
» of scientists turned ordinary adult skin cells into pluripotent stem
» cells—capable of becoming any kind of tissue—a feat that could solve the
» ethical problem forever. Here’s how one group did it.
»
» 1. The scientists, led by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan,
» identified 24 genes that are active in embryonic stem cells but not in
» adult cells. They deposited combinations of the 24 genes into the DNA of
» adult mouse skin cells.
»
» 2. They found that just four of the original 24 genes will turn adult
» cells into stem cells. The scientists aren’t quite sure what the genes do.
» They think two of the genes code for proteins that encourage further
» protein synthesis.
»
» 3. The scientists repeated their experiment on human adult skin cells
» using the same four genes as in the mouse model. The human cells also
» turned into stem cells and then differentiated into brain and heart cells.

Btw, I read an article on sciencedaily.com yesterday, about new breakthrough research continuing on the one you posted. Again it was Yamanaka conducting the research. This time, they have showed you don’t need any viruses to get those genes into the DNA. That was what they first did to show it worked, but the problem with those viruses was that it could cause tumour growth. Now they have showed you don’t need viruses, and you can do it in a safe way. Really a big breakthrough. What remains to do is to enhance the effect, because without this virus they didn’t get so many stem cells.

Here is the article btw: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081010135037.htm