Researchers have for the first time reprogrammed human skin cells to a pluripotent state without using viruses, according to twin studies published online today in __Nature__. The approach "is truly epigenetic," linkurl:Richard Young,;http://web.wi.mit.edu/young/ a geneticist at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., who was not involved in the research, told __The Scientist__. "You introduce a set of master regulators, they're expressed, they reprogram the cell, and then you successfully remove them from the cell for all time." "It opens up a gate to increased safety for the future use of the cells in cell-based therapies," said linkurl:Andras Nagy,;http://www.mshri.on.ca/nagy/ a stem cell researcher at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and one of the study's lead authors.
In the past few years, researchers have used retroviruses, lentiviruses, adenoviruses, and plasmids to insert reprogramming factors into differentiated cells to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS)...
Image: Kyoto University / AP
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