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In a paper published in the online edition of the journal Nature, Dr. Wernig and colleagues reported that they created functional neurons from skin cells by the addition of four proteins. Recent work has shown that with four factors, somatic cells can be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state and then differentiated into various cell types.
"This remarkable advancement by an inaugural member of our NYSCF - Robertson Investigator program makes this an exciting time of rapid progress for stem cell science," said Susan L. Solomon, CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation. "It is imperative that we continue to encourage and support stem cell research in whatever form it takes, including both iPS reprogramming and human embryonic stem cell research. The search for cures is too important to close off any avenue that scientists believe is leading us closer to that goal."