Significant milestone in stem cell research at The Wellcome Trust – Medical Research Council institute

Posted: September 14, 2014 at 8:45 am

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Scientists are celebrating a breakthrough in stem cell research.

A type of human stem cell has been replicated in a lab for the first time in history.

The cells, previously impossible to duplicate, have been recreated to the equivalent of those between seven and nine days old the same as found in an embryo before it implants in the womb.

The creation of the human pluripotent cells opens a door for specialised cells to be created in the future for use in regenerative medicine.

The Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute led the research, which was carried out by both British and Japanese academics.

Professor Austin Smith, director, said: "Our findings suggest that it is possible to rewind the clock to achieve true ground state pluripotency in human cells.

"These cells may represent the real starting point for formation of tissues in the human embryo. We hope that in time they will allow us to unlock the fundamental biology of early development, which is impossible to study directly in people."

The "reset" cells could be used as "raw material" for therapies, as well as diagnostic tools and drug screenings.

Scientists also hope that after further studying, the cells will help them learn more about how an embryo develops correctly, and how miscarriages and developmental disorders are caused.

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Significant milestone in stem cell research at The Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council institute

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