Scientists Improve iPS Cell Method Thursday, 06 November 2008 Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have identified a combination of drugs that can be used to reprogram cells from human tissue to become similar to embryonic stem cells so that they may develop into all the cell types in the body. The Scripps method, documented in a story published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, improves upon a process that until now involved using genes and viruses to coax human cells backward down the development pathway until they are pluripotent, meaning they can become many different cell types. One of the genes used, known as Sox2, had previously been regarded as essential for the reprogramming process. In June, the Scripps team, led by Sheng Ding, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute, showed that it could use drugs to create pluripotent cells from the brain cells of mice. This recent Scripps study appears to be the first published showing success with an alternative method for creating human pluripotent cells. Ding said the work of his team, which included scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Germany, could be used to identify other drugs and small molecules that might also be used in the process for different results.
Reference: Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts by Oct4 and Klf4 with Small-Molecule Compounds Yan Shi, Caroline Desponts, Jeong Tae Do, Heung Sik Hahm, Hans R. Schöler and Sheng Ding Cell Stem Cell, Volume 3, Issue 5, 568-574, 6 November 2008, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2008.10.004 See also: Embryo-free Stem Cell Research Gets an Advance CellNEWS - Thursday, 05 June 2008 Scientists Identify Synthetic Compound that Keeps Stem Cells Young CellNEWS - Wednesday, 08 November 2006 ......... ZenMaster
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