This news, about being able to reprogramme mature cells back into an embryonic stem cell state, compliments two previous posts about stem cells. January 2014 seems to be full of stem cell news. The previous posts were regarding manipulating stem cells into liver and pancreas precursor cells http://goo.gl/tkeSJq and the ability to create limitless #StemCells via one single cell of an embryo http://goo.gl/8jjXFO without harming the embryo.

The current post shows how stem cell knowledge is progressing well. Sydney Morning Herald wrote:  "In experiments that could open a new era in stem cell biology, scientists have found a simple way to reprogram mature animal cells back into an embryonic-like state that allows them to generate many types of tissue." http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/grow-your-own-stem-cells-a-game-changer-say-scientists-20140130-hvaer.html

To elaborate on the Sydney Morning Herald quote, note how the BBC wrote: "Now a study shows that shocking blood cells with acid could also trigger the transformation into stem cells - this time termed STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells."

What the researchers did was to subject blood cells to oxygen deprivation and high levels of acidity, to the point of near-death. This trauma caused the cells to revert to their earlier embryonic state. The BBC added: "The breakthrough was achieved in mouse blood cells, but research is now taking place to achieve the same results with human blood."

Sydney Morning Herald concluded: "Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem cell expert at Britain's National Institute for Medical Research, said it would be some time before the exact nature and capabilities of the STAP cells would be fully understood by scientists – and only then would their full potential in medicine become clearer."

#STAP #StimulusTriggeredAcquisitionPluripotency
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