Going Back to the Future–Mature Cells Are Now Reprogrammable!

Since our last class (discussing stem cell research) the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded. Two scientists unlocked the code of a mature cell in order to reprogram it to act as an undeveloped cell ready for a new start.  This makes the cells pluripotent.

Pluripotent means “ ….they can give rise to all somatic cells, as well as to the germ cell lineage: the cells destined to become gametes (eggs and sperm). “

In short, it appears that embryos are no longer needed in developing healthy cells when researching cures for illnesses. The scientists are taking cells from the sick person and reprogramming those cells rather than using an undeveloped cell.

The scientists are not American. One is from England and the other Japan. If one recommendation can be made to them–it may be wise to avoid referring to the process as stem cell research or cloning. Those brand names are not selling in the United States and we need the technology.

Read more about the scientist and their discovery by visiting the following links:

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2012/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nationalacademies%2Fna+%28News+from+the+National+Academies%29

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2012/advanced-medicineprize2012.pdf

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