During one of the most linkurl:memorable;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23254/ conference sessions I attended, a researcher from Japan wowed an entire Keystone meeting on stem cells by announcing he had found a way to reprogram adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells using only a few factors. What those factors were, however, Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University wouldn?t say -- even after numerous probing questions from the audience. Now, Yamanaka is revealing his secrets in the linkurl:latest issue;http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867406009767 of Cell. He and his colleague describe translating adult fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells using only four factors -- Oct 3/ 4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4. Surprisingly, the researchers didn?t need to use Nanog, a key ingredient in maintaining pluripotency. I hope my fellow conference attendees feel the findings are worth the wait. Personally, I?m skeptical of the claim that reprogramming -- a long sought-after mechanism that would sidestep ethical issues surrounding embryonic cells -- requires...

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