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Stem Cell Recipe Gets Even Simpler

An ear­li­er rec­i­pe sci­en­tists de­vised for mak­ing adult stem cells act like more pow­er­ful em­bry­on­ic-like stem cells may have got­ten sim­pler. New reports in­di­cate one chem­i­cal can con­vert stem cells from adult mice in­to the de­sired type. Stem cells are im­ma­ture cells that have not yet de­vel­oped in­to spe­cif­ic types to form or­gans. A large body of med­i­cal re­search is aimed at us­ing stem cells to grow new human or­gans and heal human tis­sue. There have been dif­fi­cul­ties in ob­tain­ing or pro­duc­ing stem cells with­out get­ting them from live em­bryos, which are usu­ally de­stroyed in the pro­cess, rais­ing eth­i­cal concerns. The new study, published in the Feb. 6 is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Cell, in­volves con­verting stem cells us­ing a sub­stance called a tran­scrip­tion fac­tor, a mo­le­cule pro­duced by genes which con­trols the ac­ti­vity of oth­er genes.

An ear­li­er rec­i­pe sci­en­tists de­vised for mak­ing adult stem cells act like more pow­er­ful em­bry­on­ic-like stem cells may have got­ten sim­pler. New reports in­di­cate one chem­i­cal can con­vert stem cells from adult mice in­to the de­sired type. Stem cells are im­ma­ture cells that have not yet de­vel­oped in­to spe­cif­ic types to form or­gans. A large body of med­i­cal re­search is aimed at us­ing stem cells to grow new human or­gans and heal human tis­sue. There have been dif­fi­cul­ties in ob­tain­ing or pro­duc­ing stem cells with­out get­ting them from live em­bryos, which are usu­ally de­stroyed in the pro­cess, rais­ing eth­i­cal concerns. The new study, published in the Feb. 6 is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Cell, in­volves con­verting stem cells us­ing a sub­stance called a tran­scrip­tion fac­tor, a mo­le­cule pro­duced by genes which con­trols the ac­ti­vity of oth­er genes.

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