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article imageStem cells made from adult skin cells

By Tim Sandle     Apr 27, 2014 in Science
Researchers have created human embryonic stem cells from adult skin cells for the first time. The lab created cells give scientists a potential tool to help patients.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been grown from an adult’s skin cells, according to a new study. With the research, scientists have used somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a technique in which the nucleus of an female egg cell is removed and replaced with the nucleus of a donor’s cell. This is the same technique that was used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996.
The new study study used skin cells from a two men: one 35 years old and the other 75 years old, according to NPR. This was because creating stem cells using DNA from older donors is more useful for finding medical therapies than from infants (the researchers hope to use the stem cells to look a diseases associated with aging: diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease).
Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms. The cells can differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self-renew to produce more stem cells. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues.
The research is not without controversy, according to Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Berkeley, California-based Center for Genetics and Society. Darnovsky told The Washington Post: “This and every technical advance in cloning human tissue raises the possibility that somebody will use it to clone a human being, and that is a prospect everyone is against.”
The findings have been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. The research team, was led by Dong Ryul Lee of the CHA Stem Cell Institute in Korea and Robert Lanza of the biotech firm Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT). The research is titled "Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells."
More about Stem cells, skin cells, Cloning, Skin
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