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Posted by on Aug 26, 2012 in Science |

Scientists can transform cells in blood stem cells

Scientists can transform cells in blood stem cells

(Cc) Wellcome Images

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University developed a method to “rejuvenate” the red blood Cells and turn them into primitive stem cells, from which you can develop any type of cell in the body.

The research would use these transformed cells in clinical research to replace embryonic stem cells. “Take a cell of an adult and make it back to the time when that person was a 6-day embryo creates a whole new respect to our understanding of how cells age, and what happens when things go wrong, as in the development cancer, “said Dr. Elias Zambidis.

The doctor says that he and his team were able to develop a way to “super efficient free” to make stem cells, thus easing the difficulty currently labs to access these cells to investigate. With prior methods, hundreds of blood cells, only one or two became. Zambidis with the method, between 50% and 60% was converted.

The team found a way to do this without using viruses – traditionally, the scientists used a virus to inject genes into cells, triggering a process to make them go back to mother cell. However, viruses can mutate their genes and initiate cancers in newly transformed cells. To inject the gene without using a virus, the equipment used plasmids , DNA rings briefly replicate within a cell and then degraded.

Cells were stimulated with electrical pulses, generating small holes in the surface through which the plasmid could be introduced. Once inside, the plasmids gatillaron the process whereby the cell returns to a more primitive.

Method was attempted with hair and skin cells, but the blood showed a better performance, becoming in a period between seven and 14 days.

Researchers now analyze the new stem cells generated in this manner, and which has ability to become cells of another type. Cells generated in this way and without the intervention of virus could be used in stem cell therapies, and help to better understand the development of cells.

Link: Johns Hokins Researchers return blood cells to stem cell state (Johns Hopkins)

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