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Stem cell identity in culture may strongly depend on the cellular microenvironment

Identification, isolation and large scale culture of stem cells for potential medical applications is a major challenge in cell biology. In an upcoming PLoS ONE paper, researchers, including Andras Paldi, in Genethon (Evry, France) report, on the basis of experimental observations and computer simulations, that the stem cell identity in culture may strongly depend on the cellular microenvironment.

These observations are in line with the currently emerging view that differentiation is context dependent rather than a pre-programmed attribute of the cells. In practice, this work provide a rationale to research strategies that aim to increase the efficiency of stem cell-related culture methods and, perhaps, even to develop stem cells from already differentiated cells instead of using embryos.

Source:Public Library of Science

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