The ability to turn skin cells in to embryonic stem cells is being hailed as a major breakthrough.
To achieve this, scientists at two research centers in Oregon used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer which involves implanting the nucleus of a skin cell in to a hollowed out egg cell so that it produces embryonic stem cells. This milestone is particularly important as these stem cells can then be turned in to any other cell type in the human body, leading to new ways to treat a whole range of ailments and injuries.
"While there is much work to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments, we believe this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine," said senior scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov in a press release.
"Scientists have successfully changed skin cells into embryonic stem cells, marking the first time human stem cells were cloned by transferring the nucleus of another cell."
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Source: CBS News
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