Skin Successfully Transformed into Brain Cells
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have successfully converted skin cells into neurons in trials on mice. In their experiment, they reported being able to skip the middle step of the process, the ever controversial “stem cell” step.
These researchers were obviously very enthusiastic about potential medical uses for their new development, but more tests will be necessary before trials in humans are to take place.
Recently, the media has been hyper focused on the developments coming fromstem-cell research, as these cells have the key ability to transform into any other type of cell. They are widely believed to hold the key to a lot of potential treatments, with the latest developments being the treatment of blindness and strokes.
However, this does not come without controversy. Embryonic stem cells, despite their potential benefits, come with both ethical dilemmas and the need for patients to take certain medicines, as the developed tissue would not match that of their own.
Stanford’s findings proving a possible alternative of “induced stem cells.” These could be taken from the patients own skin samples, eliminating both the need for immunosuppressant drugs and ethical problems.
However, one problem that was shown in their studies was that the process “results in cancer-causing genes being activated.” But this study is far from over, and researchers are confident that they will be able to find ways prevent any harmful side effects.