Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Acquirement, Characteristics and Medicinal Applications
The isolation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 has since fueled the ideology that stem cells may eventually be used for human disease therapies as well as the regeneration of tissues and organs. The transformation of somatic cells to a pluripotent state via somatic nuclear transfer and embryonic stem cell fusion brought the scientific community nearer to understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern cellular pluripotency. In 2006, the first induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell was reported, where a mouse somatic cell was successfully converted to a pluripotent state via transduction of four essential factors. This cellular breakthrough has allowed for robust scientific investigations of human diseases that were once extremely difficult to study. Scientists and pharmaceuticals now use iPS cells as means for disease investigations, drug development and cell or tissue transplantation. There is little doubt that scientific progress on iPS cells will change many aspects of medicine in the next couple of decades.
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