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Using the liver to make the pancreas

Who would guess that it kind of makes sense to use the liver to produce beta cells, the vehicles for easing the problem of type 1 diabetes? Well, I was convinced of just that during a talk I attended yesterday at this year?s linkurl:Keystone meeting;http://www.keystonesymposia.org/Meetings/ViewMeetings.cfm?MeetingID=786 on stem cell biology. linkurl:Jonathan M.W. Slack;http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/slack.htm of the University of Bath in the UK and his colleagues have been studying the use of li

Alison McCook
Who would guess that it kind of makes sense to use the liver to produce beta cells, the vehicles for easing the problem of type 1 diabetes? Well, I was convinced of just that during a talk I attended yesterday at this year?s linkurl:Keystone meeting;http://www.keystonesymposia.org/Meetings/ViewMeetings.cfm?MeetingID=786 on stem cell biology. linkurl:Jonathan M.W. Slack;http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/slack.htm of the University of Bath in the UK and his colleagues have been studying the use of liver cells to produce beta cells -- an admittedly "bizarre choice," he said, given that the adult liver and pancreas are quite different. However, from a developmental biology point of view, the organs are closely related, and one signal, FGF, appears to distinguish one from the other in a mouse embryo. A series of experiments appeared to suggest that it might be possible to convert liver cells into pancreas cells using Pdx-1, which is essential for the formation of the pancreas....

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