Stem cells are the special cells that can turn into any kind of cell in the body. Embryos have them, and use them during development. This has lead to controversy as collecting stem cells needed destroying an embryo. Now we can take cells from an adult, and turn them into pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming them.
This can be done by turning on genes that are active in stem cells, and turning off genes that are active in whatever type of cell they are. Scientists also introduce proteins that are important during embryonic development.
Hopefully this will allow stem cell research in the United States to catch up with the rest of the world.
Scientists at King’s College were able to create skin tissue using stem cells. Scientists have done this before, but this time it’s different. Previous artificial skin didn’t have a permeable membrane to keep fluids from leaking out of the body; this one does. This new skin can grow indefinitely, so would be a good source of skin for severe burns. I’m really looking forward to the day we can grow our own replacement organs.
Scientists have used cloning techniques to create stems cells from adult skin cells. They got donated eggs from women, removed the DNA from the eggs, and injected the skin cells into the eggs. Creating cells from these created the pluripotent stem cells that matched the skin donor DNA. At this point they were able to do this to 77 eggs, creating 2 stem cells, a success rate of 2.5%. They could shake up the medical world by fixing that problem.