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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New breakthroughs in Embryonic Stem Cell research

The scientists made a new breakthrough by finding a simple way to do the re-program adult animal cells back into embryonic stem cells similar conditions which enable them to produce many types of tissue.

The study shows that the human cells in the future may also be re-programmed with the same technique, offers a simpler way to replace damaged cells or grow new organs for people who are wounded and sick.
A mouse embryo formed with Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells is seen in this undated image released by RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology on January 28, 2014. (Picture from: http://www.reuters.com/)
The results of the study are reported in two papers in the Nature scientific journal on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 and involved scientists from the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), in collaboration with the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan.

The researchers took skin cells and blood, allowing them to double, then wear them with pressure " almost to the point of death " by giving them with a variety of events including trauma, low oxygen levels and acidic environment.
Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells are seen in this undated image released by RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology on January 28, 2014. (Picture from: http://www.reuters.com/)
One of the "stress" situations among others, created by bathing the cells with a weak acid liquid for about 30 minutes. Within a few days, the researchers found that the cells not only survive the stress but also can naturally recover to conditions similar to embryonic stem cells.

These stem cells, which the researchers called cells Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP), further able to differentiate and mature into all kinds of cells and tissues depending on the environment in which they are placed.

"If we could create a mechanism by which differentiation stage awake and gone, this could open up greater opportunities for new research and its application using living cells," said Haruko Obokata, who led the research at RIKEN, as reported by Reuters news agency.

Chris Mason, chairman of regenerative medicine section at University College London, who was not involved in the study, said in mice that approach is the use of "method is the simplest, most cost-effective and fastest" to build the so-called pluripotent cells - which can develop into many types of cells - from adult cells.

"If it works in humans, it could be a game changer that ultimately make cell therapy with broad coverage is available by using the patient's cells as the starting material itself - the era of personalized medicine will finally arrive," he said.

While Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem cell expert at the National Institute for Medical Research in the UK, said it took time before the natural behavior and the ability of the STAP cells fully understood by scientists, and only after that their potential in the treatment will be more obvious.

"But it is very interesting to find out is the mechanism behind how the low pH shock triggers reprogramming. And why it does not happen when we eat lemon or vinegar, or a cola drink?" he says.

Stem cells are the main cells of the body and are able to differentiate into all cell types. There are two main types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells and adult cells or iPS, taken from skin or blood and reprogrammed into stem cells.

Due to obtain embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of of human embryos, the techniques to produce the type of stem cells that give rise to problems of ethics and subject to protest.

Scientists say they could offer treatment for a disease that can only be overcome by limited through the establishment and growth of new organs from stem cells.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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