Researchers have attained the holy grail of cellular reprogramming: inducing pluripotency without using any DNA-based materials. Using only a cocktail of purified proteins and a chemical additive, investigators have generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that don't carry the potential burden of unexpected genetic modifications, according to a new study published online today (Apr. 23) in__ linkurl:Cell Stem Cell.; __
iPS cells
Image: flickr/CIRM
"This new advancement is both exciting and startling," linkurl:Huck-Hui Ng,; a stem cell researcher at the Genome Institute of Singapore who was not involved in the study, said in an email. "Now, cell reprogrammers are armed with a potentially genome-safe method to make pluripotent stem cells." Three years ago, Kyoto University's linkurl:Shinya Yamanaka; showed that adult mouse cells could be reprogrammed to embryonic-like stem cells by transfecting the cells with retroviruses containing just four transcription factors. Since then, many researchers have developed other techniques that...

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