Two teams of scientists simultaneously announced they have reprogrammed human skin cells to obtain pluripotency, the characteristic hailed in embryonic stem cells as having the potential for therapeutic breakthroughs in areas ranging from Parkinson’s disease to diabetes.
Scientists in Japan and Wisconsin created the so-called induced pluripotent cells by introducing different combinations of genes into skin cells that are normally switched off after embryonic cells differentiate into various cell types. The results were published last month in Cell and Nature, respectively.
Researchers, ethicists, religious leaders and politicians hailed the findings, saying the innovative work could allow society to reap scientific and medical benefits of stem cell research without destroying embryos.
The whole shebang.