BBC News - Stem cell researcher Dr Haruko Obokata on 'breakthrough'

'A young researcher in Japan has been facing the world's media after her stem cell studies were heralded as a "major scientific discovery."  Dr Haruko Obokata's work, published in the journal Nature, showed stem cells can now be made quickly just by dipping blood cells into acid.  The breakthrough at the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology was achieved in mouse blood cells, but could have the potential to start a new age of personalised medicine.'

Scientists discover a new, simpler way to make stem cells - Science - The Boston Globe

'Before 2006, embryonic stem cell research was conducted with cells from destroyed embryos, sparking protest on ethical and religious grounds. The discovery that embryonic-like stem cells could be produced in a laboratory by “reprogramming” mature cells was welcomed as a way to potentially avoid that controversy.  It was also hailed as a research breakthrough and was recognized with a share of the Nobel Prize in 2012. The discovery escalated a push, funded with hundreds of millions in public and private dollars, to devise ways to use the cells to treat diseases in which tissues are injured or lost.  The new work reveals a potentially cheap, fast, and simple avenue to create the powerful cells — by exposing mature cells to environmental stress, in this case the acid bath — instead of having to manipulate the genes inside the cell’s nucleus, the main method now used.'

Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
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