Reprogramming stem cells into motor neurons could help patients with paralysis

iPS derived motor neurons ALSproject
Motor neurons made from iPS cells generated from ALS patients. Credit: Gist Croft and Mackenzie Amoroso

[S]cientists developed a mechanism to directly reprogram stem cells into motor neurons.

Cell reprogramming is a novel exploration in medical studies that could treat numerous diseases by growing the body’s own stem cells into healthy cells. The mechanism of reprogramming, however, has just begun to be understood.

The researchers elucidated a new pathway for cell reprogramming by analyzing gene transcription in mice. As established by previous studies, reprogramming is brought about by a series of transcriptions, AKA, how the genes control the expression of other genes.

While the study is a long way from clinical trials, the development gives hope to the estimated 6,000 people in the US diagnosed with ALS each year, as well as patients of other diseases linked to motor neuron mutation.

“Our study not only informs the study of motor neuron development and its associated diseases, but also informs our understanding of the direct programming process and may help with the development of techniques to generate other cell types,” said [Shaun Mahony, one of the lead authors of the paper].

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Reprogramming Stem Cells Could Soon Lead Us to a World Without Paralysis

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