August 15 2011 Embryonic stem cells require Wnt proteins to prevent differentiation to epiblast stem cells

(TRANSLATION) De Telegraaf (The Netherlands) – Dutch Newspaper

Monday August 15 2011, 12:24

Creating stem cells from humans a step closer

LONDON – Researchers from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam have discovered how a protein causes embryonic stem cell can develop into any type of cell in the body. This discovery, made ​​in mice, is an important step for creating new cells from adult cells.

This is useful because researchers prefer to avoid the use of embryonic stem cells. That stem cells derived from embryos. There are not too many of them available and there are also moral objections.

From adult body cells, it is theoretically possible to create stem cells, but the problem is that these stem cells do not forget where they come from. “For example, stem cells need to have a defect in the heart muscle to recover, it is difficult to get cells from the heart to get. You do not just happen. It would be useful for such purpose to use skin cells and transform into stem cells. But that skin cells do not forget that they once were and skin are not just to transform into heart cells that can help. That’s a problem, “explained Derk ten Berge stem cell biologist from Monday.

With the discovery of the Wnt protein, the researchers hope to circumvent this problem. “If we can make embryonic stem cells of the body’s cells, which then can be used anywhere, we do not need stem cells from embryos. It is possible that every human body’s tissues can be grown, “said Ten Berge.

The researchers published their findings this week in the scientific journal Nature Cell Biology.

The Publication in Nature Cell Biology

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