Ten years after discovery, induced stem cells revolutionizing research, but not yet medicine

| | June 28, 2016
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In June 2006, Shinya Yamanaka presented induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to the world, stunning everyone.

The cells promised to be a boon for regenerative medicine: researchers might take a person’s skin, blood or other cells, reprogram them into iPS cells, and then use those to grow liver cells, neurons or whatever was needed to treat a disease. This personalized therapy would get around the risk of immune rejection, and sidestep the ethical concerns of using cells derived from embryos.

Ten years later, iPS cells haven’t made a huge difference in medicine. Instead, they’re changing the field of biological research. They have become an important tool for modelling and investigating human diseases, as well as for screening drugs. Improved ways of making the cells have essentially turned iPS cells into a lab workhorse.

Even now, iPS cells are useful in the race to prevent and treat the Zika virus as well as creating organoids such as mini-guts and mini-livers, and the list of disease-related discoveries using iPS cells is still growing

Read full, original post: How iPS cells changed the world

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