Researchers find easier way to make stem cells

Maggie Fox | Reuters | Washington | 12 October 2008

Researchers trying to find ways to transform ordinary skin cells into powerful stem cells said on Sunday they found a shortcut by “sprinkling” a chemical onto the cells.

Adding the chemical allowed the team at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Massachusetts to use just two genes to transform ordinary human skin cells into more powerful induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.

“This study demonstrates there’s a possibility that instead of using genes and viruses to reprogram cells, one can use chemicals,” said Dr. Doug Melton, who directed the study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.


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