Archive for February, 2010
. Now this article is a bit vague on the method they used to reprogram, adult skin cells and turn them into embryonic stem cells, but the idea implies that any cell can be re-programmed to return to an unprogrammed state. Basically, you are age regressing a cell to return to a high energy state of youth.
UK and Canadian researchers have made an important step towards creating stem cells without having to use embryos.
Astragalus– can activate the growth of stem cells
In a report published this week in Nature magazine, scientists from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, outline how skin cells can be programmed into create stem cells, without the ethical quandary of using embryos.
“This new method of generating stem cells does not require embryos as starting points and could be used to generate cells from many adult tissues, such as a patient’s own skin cells,” said principal author Andras Nagy, senior investigator at Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute quoted by the Canadian Press.
Though the technology of creating skin cells into stem cells has been accomplished previously, the act of reprogramming the four genes needed for stem cells required viruses, which posed the risk of cancerous damage to the cells.
“These four genes are very potent, very powerful factors, which also if they get loose, they could create problems,” he said. “For example, they are cancerous.”
Study leader Dr Keisuke Kaji, from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, described to the BBC the importance of the breakthrough though admitted it was early days and more needed to be done.