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Scripps Research scientists convert skin cells to beating heart cells
Date:1/31/2011

fferent from what has been done by other scientists in the past and notes that giving the cells a different kind of signal could turn them into brain cells or pancreatic cells.

"It is like launching a rocket," he said. "Until now, people thought you needed to first land the rocket on the moon and then from there you could go to other planets. But here we show that just after the launch you can redirect the rocket to another planet without having to first go to the moon. This is a totally new paradigm."

In addition to better understanding the basic biology of stem cells, the next step will be to modify this technique further to remove the need for inserting the four genes, which have been linked to the development of cancer. As a result, many scientists, including Ding, have been working on new techniques to develop iPS cells without use of these genes. That has proven difficult. But with the new protocol, which bypasses the iPS cell stage, the genes are needed for a much shorter time.

"Action for such a short period of time is a lot easier to replace," Ding noted.


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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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