Science Weekly : Mature cells reverted to stem cells now possible

Scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have successfully reset adult human cells to the point of their best developmental potential.

For the study, which was published in Cell,  involved scientists came from Europe and Asia and were lead by EMBL-EBI and the University of Cambridge.

Embryonic stem cells originate in the early part of development and have the ability to turn into any type of cell. Although reversing the mature cells of mice and rats into stem cells has become routine, scientists have not been able to revert a mature human cell into a stem cell—until now.

Paul Bertone, senior author of the study, said human cells have been more challenging,

In a new approach, scientists used reprogramming methods to utilize the genes NANOG and KLF2, which resets the cells to their embryonic state using iPS cell technology.

By erasing the biochemical marks that influence gene expression, the cell’s memory was reset, giving it the potential to become any adult cell.

Researchers hope that these findings will unlock the fundamental biology of early development, which is impossible to study directly in humans.

This new study makes way for new advances in translational medicine and is a huge advancement in human stem cell applications.

Information compiled from