Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yet another way to make induced pluripotent stem cells

Both Forbes and MSNBC have articles about a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell where researchers used genetically engineered proteins to turned ordinary mouse cells into pluripotent cells.
Instead of inserting the four genes into the cells they wanted to reprogram, the scientists added the purified engineered proteins and experimented with the chemically defined conditions without any genetic materials involved until they found the exact mix that allowed them to gradually reprogram the cells.

The scientists found that those reprogrammed embryonic-like cells (dubbed "protein-induced pluripotent stem cells" or "piPS cells") from fibroblasts behave indistinguishably from classic embryonic stem cells in their molecular and functional features, including differentiation into various cell types, such as beating cardiac muscle cells, neurons, and pancreatic cells.

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