Scientists Develop New Method to Create Stem Cells Without Killing Human Embryos

Researchers at the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institute have announced that they were able to create stem cells by using skin cells from mice through a genome editing tool called CRISPR.

In a statement, the Gladstone Institute noted that they were building upon the findings of senior investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, who in 2006 found that “he could make stem cells — dubbed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) — by treating ordinary skin cells with four key proteins.”

 

A team of scientists in California have found a new way to create stem cells that doesn’t require the destruction of human embryos.

Researchers at the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institute have announced that they were able to create stem cells by using skin cells from mice through a genome editing tool called CRISPR.

Sheng Ding, PhD, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute, said in a statement released Monday that this was an innovative means of creating stem cells for research.

“This is a new way to make induced pluripotent stem cells that is fundamentally different from how they’ve been created before,” said Ding.

“At the beginning of the study, we didn’t think this would work, but we wanted to at least try to answer the question: can you reprogram a cell just by unlocking a specific location of the genome? And the answer is yes.”

In a statement, the Gladstone Institute noted that they were building upon the findings of senior investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, who in 2006 found that “he could make stem cells — dubbed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) — by treating ordinary skin cells with four key proteins.”

“Ding and others previously created iPSCs not with transcription factors, but by adding a cocktail of chemicals to the cells,” noted the institute.

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