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Stem Cells Reset Inside Mice

Spanish researchers have successfully reset stem cells so they can become any cell type within the bodies of live mice, bypassing the need for transplantation.

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The ability to change multiple different cell types in a living mouse back into iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells), that can turn into any cell type in that mouse or even into an entire new mouse, is unprecedented. This research provides a better understanding of the reprogramming process in mice and will enable further investigations into applications targeted at treating specific diseases and injuries.

The reprogramming method described is not suitable for use in humans, but its use for research in mice could ultimately provide information critical for the safe use of reprogramming technology in humans to address unmet healthcare needs.

A/Prof Andrew Laslett is Research Group Leader, Stem Cells, at CSIRO Materials Science & Engineering.

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These findings are a genuine leap forward in understanding the possibilities of reprogramming cells in many different organs in animals, bringing the promise of therapies that fundamentally alter the make-up of cells a little closer to clinical use.

The Spanish research team have built on the seminal work of Professor Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University in Japan, who won a 2012 Nobel Prize for the discovery that only four genes are required to turn a skin cell back into a cell capable of making a vast spectrum of different tissues. Professor Yamanaka’s method revolutionised...

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