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February 01, 2012

Scientists bypass stem cells to create nervous system cells!

Scientists bypass stem cells to create nervous system cells! Yes, Scientists 've successfully converted mouse skin cells directed into cells that become the three main parts of the nervous system, bypassing the stem cell stage, throwing up many new possibilities in the medical world. This particular study is a substantial advance over the previous paper in that it transforms the skin cells into neutral precursor cells, as opposed to neurons.

While neural precursor cells can differentiate into neurons, they can also become the two other main cell types in the nervous system: astrocytes & oligodendrocytes. The finding is an extension of a nervous study by the same group from the Stanford University School of Medicine, showing that mouse & human skin cells can be turned into functional neurons or brain cells. 

According to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the multiple successes of the direct conversion method overrides the idea that pluripotency is necessary for a cells to transform from one type to another. Pluripotency is nothing but the ability of stem cells to become nearly any cell. 

According to a Stanford statement, Marius Wernig, a study co-author & assistant professor of pathology & member of Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, says "We are thrilled about the prospects for potential medical use of these stem cells." 

Beside their greater versatility, the newly derived neural precursor cells offer another advantage over neurrons because they can be cultivated in large numbers in the lab, a feature critical for their long-term usefulness in transplantation or drug screening. Wernig, who co-authored the study with graduate student Ernesto Lujan said "We've shown the cells can integrate into a mouse brain & produce a missing protein important for the conduction of electrical signal by the neurons." 

1 comment:

Dee........ said...

wonderful info !
i ain't know that !

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