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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Named Decade’s Most Important Biomedical Discovery

MIT Professor Explains how iPS cells opened new avenues for possible treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and type 1 diabetes

MIT Professor and Nobel Prize laureate Phillip Sharp contributes to XConomy Boston in an article entitled “The Decade’s Most Important Biomedical Discovery.”  He reports that the most important discovery of the past decade is that of “induced pluripotent stem cells” or “iPS cells.” This stem cell research produced adult cells that have been coaxed back into an embryonic-stem-cell-like state.

The discovery of how to do that coaxing, made by Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka in 2006, opened new avenues to consider for future potential stem cell treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and type 1 diabetes.  He adds that “We are entering a new frontier in determining the nature of systems of genes and their proteins that control cell state and cell growth properties.”

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