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UW-Madison scientists guide human skin cells to embryonic state
Date:11/20/2007

creators of Dolly.

"These are embryonic stem cell-specific genes which we identified through a combinatorial screen," Thomson says. "Getting rid of the oocyte means that any lab with standard molecular biology can do reprogramming without difficulty to obtain oocytes."

Although Thomson is encouraged that the new cells will speed new cell-based therapies to treat disease, more work is required, he says, to refine the techniques through which the cells were generated to prevent the incorporation of the introduced genes into the genome of the cells. In addition, to ensure their safety for therapy, methods to remove the vectors, the viruses used to ferry the genes into the skin cells, need to be developed.

Using the new reprogramming techniques, the Wisconsin group has developed eight new stem cell lines. As of the writing of the new Science paper, which will appear in the Dec. 21, 2007 print edition of the journal Science, some of the new cell lines have been growing continuously in culture for as long as 22 weeks.


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Contact: Terry Devitt
trdevitt@wisc.edu
608-262-8282
University of Wisconsin-Madison  
Source:Eurekalert

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