Bora's Blog Posts

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Take a Big Step Towards Clinical Applications

March 04 2009 / by Bora / In association with Future
Category: Biotechnology   Year: 2009   Rating: 9 Hot

This week, researchers from Canada and Scotland made a major advancement in the field of stem cell biology. They discovered a method to successfully reprogram somatic cells into stem cells without the use of viruses.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of stem cells derived from adult somatic cells by forcing expression of genes shown to sufficiently reprogram somatic cells into stem cells. iPSCs have been shown to possess key characteristics of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), the most important of which is the ability to give rise to cells of all three germ layers. iPSCs are an ideal source of stem cells because they circumvent the need for human embryos to generate stem cells. Additionally, because they can be generated from one’s own somatic cells which are readily available, iPSCs can be used for patient-specific therapies, thereby reducing the risk of immune rejection.

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The Mamas and the Papa

May 21 2008 / by Bora / In association with Future
Category: Biotechnology   Year: 2008   Rating: 13 Hot

This past Mother’s Day, it occurred to me that the meaning of parenthood is constantly evolving. While social trends, such as increasing divorce rates and rising numbers of same-sex marriages are major contributing factors, science is adding another layer to the evermore complex meaning of the modern family. A good example of this stems from the latest developments in genetic manipulation and assisted reproductive technology.

In a recent report, a British team of researchers at Newcastle University announced that they have created a human embryo conceived from three parents, in which the nuclear DNA is inherited from the mother and the father but the mitochondrial DNA is inherited from a third party. The three-parent embryo was created in an effort to prevent genetic diseases associated with defective maternal mitochondrial DNA. (cont.)

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