For the first time, human skin cells have been reprogrammed without using DNA, according to a linkurl:study; published online today (May 28) in __Cell Stem Cell__. Although further optimization is still required, this new technique, which involves only four genetically engineered proteins, could yield the first clinic-ready human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Human iPS cells generated
by direct protein delivery

Image: Kwang-Soo Kim
"This is the first safe method for generating patient-specific stem cells," linkurl:Robert Lanza,; chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), who coauthored the study, told __The Scientist__. "We now have a way to actually go into a patient without the problem of immune rejection." linkurl:Last month,; a team led by the Scripps Research Institute's linkurl:Sheng Ding; reported the first DNA-free method for obtaining iPS cells, although his team only published experiments using mouse cells. Ding and his colleagues started with the four most commonly used...

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