Blood Cells Back Into Stem Cells
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered a way to get adult blood cells to turn back into stem cells. This discovery holds the promise that the converted stem cells could be used instead of stem cells derived from human embryos.
Lead researcher Elias Zambidis and colleagues published their findings in the journal PloS ONE. Futurity.org quoted Zambidis as saying, “Taking a cell from an adult and converting it all the way back to the way it was when that person was a 6-day-old embryo creates a completely new biology toward our understanding of how cells age and what happens when things go wrong, as in cancer development.”
The team first described their work in the spring of 2011. In the current report, they detail the methods they used in what they say is a “super efficient” process that does not depend on the use of viruses, which could "mutate genes and initiate cancers in newly transformed cells," according to the article on Futurity.org
"These data provide a paradigm for understanding the augmented reprogramming capacity of somatic progenitors, and reveal that efficient induced pluripotency in other cell types may also require extrinsic activation of a molecular framework that commonly regulates self-renewal and differentiation," the authors wrote.