alexa Primer and interviews: promises and realities of induced pluripotent stem cells.
Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology

Journal of Cell Science & Therapy

Author(s): Kiefer JC

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Abstract In 2006, Yamanaka's group announced they had discovered the proverbial "fountain of youth" for human cells, forever changing the field of stem cell research. After misexpressing within them a cocktail of four genes, adult somatic cells revert into an embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like state. These so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can differentiate into a wide variety of cell types, seemingly bypassing the need for politically charged ESCs. However, iPSCs differ from ESCs in potentially deleterious ways, precluding their use in regenerative medicine. In this primer and adjoining discussion with iPSC biologists William Lowry, PhD, and Clive Svendsen, PhD, we explore these issues as well how iPSCs promise to contribute to the understanding of developmental biology and the etiology, and treatment, of human diseases. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. This article was published in Dev Dyn and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy

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