Researchers at Scripps Research Institute have made a major breakthrough in creating stem cells from adult cells, without the manipulation of genetic materials.
According to the study, the scientists involved used a combination of proteins retrieved from a number of organisms to inject into the cells, transforming them into stems cells that are nearly indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells.
This method is safer then those that previously used genes with specified DNA sequences injected into the cells to create that transformation, which was unstable and gave the risk of cancerous tumors developing within the body’s tissue.
These cells have been marked as ‘pluripotent’, as they can be use to potentially treat a myriad of diseases by replacing damaged cells and tissue in the body. There is also hope that this could allow for safer organ transplants.
The cells have been named “protein-induced pluripotent stem cells”m or piPS for short. This is the first time a viable, safe option has been provided as an alternative to embryonic stem cells, which has sparked an incredible amount of controversy for it’s harvesting from aborted fetuses.
The study has been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.