Skin Cells Turned Directly Into Neurons

By Clive Cookson for the Financial Times:

Stem cell scientists at Stanford University in California announced “a huge step forward” last night, with the publication of research that turned skin into nerve cells without any intermediate step.

The production of neurons [nerve cells] directly from other adult cells, without making stem cells en route, could transform “regenerative medicine” – providing a plentiful supply of neurons for treating people with degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s or those with spinal injuries.

“We actively and directly induced one cell type to become a completely different cell type,” said Marius Wernig of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. “These are fully functional neurons. They can do all the principal things that neurons in the brain do.”…

[continues at the Financial Times]

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