Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another induced pluripotent stem cell breakthrough

Here’s more proof that iPS cells are the “functional equivalent” of embryonic stem cells. Two groups of Chinese scientists were able to use iPS cells from mice combined with cells that form the placenta to create mice which were genetically identical to the donor mice.
"This gives us hope for future therapeutic interventions using patients' own reprogrammed cells in the future," Fanyi Zeng of the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, who worked with Zhou, said during a telephone briefing for reporters.

The second group of researchers, led by Shaorong Gao of the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, created five iPS cell lines, one of which was able to produce embryos that survived until birth. Although four animals were born, only one lived to adulthood. Nevertheless, the work is "proof that iPS cells are functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells," Gao said in a telephone interview.

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