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New method developed by UC San Diego bioengineers gives regenerative medicine a boost
Date:4/23/2009

percent like a natural stem cell? This is the assay to tell you whether it will do this or not.

"You can use our method to compare all kinds of ideas. It's a relatively generic method that has many different applications," Zhang added.

A key to the team's discovery was the use of programmable DNA chips made with a proprietary Ink-jet printing method by Agilent Technology. Zhang and his group have a patent pending on the method to convert DNA coming out from the programmable chips into padlock probes.

In the meantime, Zhang and his team plan to further their research in this area.

"We have already compared fibroblasts with induced pluripotent stem cells, which was to examine what happened when we turned the clock back," he said. "The natural thing we want to do now is follow the entire path. We want to turn the clock forward and differentiate stem cells into multiple tissue and see how the memory of the cells changes. We want to compare the artificial stem cells with the natural stem cells to see whether the differentiation can work exactly the same efficiency on the artificial stem cells as they do on the natural stem cells.

At least now we have a hint of where we should be looking.

"In addition, a couple of second generation reprogramming method, so called virus-free or transgene-free methods, were reported in Nature and Science recently," Zhang said. "We are in the process of testing whether these new methods can alleviate the artifact we observed."


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Contact: Andrea Siedsma
asiedsma@soe.ucsd.edu
858-822-0899
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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