Researchers have developed a new, open-access tool for determining the ability of a cell line to differentiate into multiple tissue types, according to a study published online today in Nature Methods. Users need only to input their microarray data on the expression patterns of cells, and the program predicts their pluripotency.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Nissim Benvenisty
"A good 'transcriptome assay' can sometimes even detect differences that would otherwise be difficult to discern by morphology or immunostaining," which are used in other tests of pluripotency, stem cell biologist linkurl:Thorsten Schlaeger; of the Children's Hospital Boston, who was not involved in the research, said in an email to The Scientist. "We will certainly give this a try."Pluripotency, the ability of a cell to generate any tissue in the body, is a hallmark of stem cells. But determining if a cell line is truly pluripotent has been...
F-J Müller, et al., "A bioinformatic assay for pluripotency in human cells," Nature Methods, AOP, doi:10.1038/nmeth.1580, 2011.

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