Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm


“Skin cells have been converted directly into cells which develop into the main components of the brain, by researchers studying mice in California.

The experiment, reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, skipped the middle “stem cell” stage in the process.

The researchers said they were “thrilled” at the potential medical uses.

Far more tests are needed before the technique could be used on human skin.

Stem cells, which can become any other specialist type of cell from brain to bone, are thought to have huge promise in a range of treatments. Many trials are taking place, such as in stroke patients or specific forms of blindness.

One of the big questions for the field is where to get the cells from. There are ethical concerns around embryonic stem cells and patients would need to take immunosuppressant drugs as any stem cell tissue would not match their own.

An alternative method has been to take skin cells and reprogram them into “induced” stem cells. These could be made from a patient’s own cells and then turned into the cell type required, however, the process results in cancer-causing genes being activated.

The research group, at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, is looking at another option – converting a person’s own skin cells into specialist cells, without creating “induced” stem cells. It has already transformed skin cells directly into neurons.”

Read more at BBC News

January 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm
roz says:

they can take cells from that “other” head…it’s used a lot for “thinking” already! 😛

January 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm
Lauren says:

Sounds interesting, be good to see how it turns out! So does this mean that it can help prevent/cure any other ilnesses, whether that be within the brain itself or the body in general other than strokes and blindness do you think? xx

January 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm
Nick says:

seriously wow! What an advancement!

February 1, 2012 at 8:44 am
Shaun Banks says:

A brilliant step forward without the need to use stem cells, particularly for people with brain diseases. Hopefully they can do it with human cells without triggering any cancers.

February 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm
alan says:

Given that continuous bombardment with airbrushed media material can convince some that they are hideous. Could we one day simply think ourselves beautiful?

February 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Radu C says:

I know some people who have plenty of (thick) skin and not that many neurons. They could really use this conversion.


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