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After more than a decade of trying to harvest the promise of embryonic stem cells, scientists have hit on a fascinating new approach that sidesteps them entirely. By adding genes to targeted cells in the body they have been able change the basic makeup of those cells, turning them into potential disease-curing cells.
While stem cells long have been prized as potential replacement cells in treating various diseases, the new method, accomplished by Harvard University scientists, suggests that ailments such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease and heart disease could be treated using the patient's own cells.