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Canadian Researchers Reprogram Adult Cells to Stem Cells Without Cancer Risk

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stemcell2009Toronto Star: Toronto scientists have scored a major breakthrough in stem cell research, coming first in a worldwide race to find a safer way to make human skin cells act like embryonic stem cells. The discovery could well bring the promise of personalized organ repair within reach of patients.

Andras Nagy and his team of scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital are the first to reprogram adult human cells into embryonic-like stem cells without using potentially dangerous viruses that could cause cancer.

The finding overcomes one of the major hurdles in using the reprogramming technique in the search for new drugs, finding innovative cures for disease and creating personalized organs and tissue for patients.

Experts say the elegant discovery quickly will be adopted by labs around the world and will accelerate further advances in biology’s hottest field.

“This is a significant contribution,” says Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell funding body. “It’s a very innovative way of delivering the gene products that are needed for reprogramming adult cells into embryonic stem cell-like cells. Well done to the Nagy group.”

bspcommentThink of the TRILLIONS of dollars that could be saved and the incredible improvement in patients lives when stem cell therapies replace drug and surgical treatments for diseases like cancer.

Written by mattliving

March 3, 2009 at 9:35 am

Posted in Knowledge, Medicine

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