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Using induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists can better study human disease

Date:
April 21, 2013
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
New work has led to major advances in our understanding of embryonic stem cells and "induced pluripotent stem" cells, which appear identical to embryonic stem cells but can be created from adult cells without using an egg.
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Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology will speak at EB 2013 on the topic of stem cells, pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming. His work has led to major advances in our understanding of embryonic stem cells and "induced pluripotent stem" (IPS) cells, which appear identical to embryonic stem cells but can be created from adult cells without using an egg. Dr. Jaenisch will discuss the mechanism of in vitro reprogramming and the inefficiency of gene targeting on April 21 at the meeting of the American Association of Anatomists at Experimental Biology.

The stem cell field is no stranger to controversy and has become widely discussed for the cells' ability to generate any cell type. They offer a new way to study human development. "The greatest interest in using stem cells is for disease research," said Jaenisch. "In the late 1990s when Dolly was cloned, it was called therapeutic cloning. It is considered controversial for using human eggs and is technically difficult. With IPS cells, we now have a way to study the pathogenesis of disease in petri dishes, without human eggs."

According to Jaenisch, where Dolly was a theoretical solution, we now have new technology that makes it possible to move into application. IPS cells will allow scientists to study complex human diseases in Petri dishes, a step toward analyzing the conditions and developing therapies.

Another potential benefit from IPS cells is to use them for transplantation into a patient to cure disease possibly. "We can likely find a way to reduce the risk of organ/tissue rejection. We can also correct mutations in IPS cells," he added, which gives researchers one less complicating factor.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Using induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists can better study human disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153449.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2013, April 21). Using induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists can better study human disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153449.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Using induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists can better study human disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153449.htm (accessed July 1, 2015).

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