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Unformatted text preview: tocyst Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Given both the technical and ethical difficulties in the derivation
of embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer, a major
advance in the field has come from studies demonstrating that
adult somatic cells can be directly converted to pluripotent stem
cells in culture. This circumvents the need for derivation of
embryos and provides a direct mechanism for converting
somatic cells to stem cells which, like embryonic stem cells, have
the potential of developing into all tissues of an organism.
The conversion (or reprogramming) of somatic cells to
pluripotent stem cells was first reported by Kazutoshi Takahashi
and Shinya Yamanaka in 2006. They found that mouse fibroblasts could be reprogrammed to cells resembling embryonic stem
cells (called induced pluripotent stem cells) by the action of
only four transcription factors introduced by retroviral gene
transfer ( Figure 17.27 ). Subsequent studies have shown that
induced pluripotent stem cells, like embryonic stem cells, are
capable of differentiating into all cell types when introduced into...
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