It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
But embryonic stem cell treatments are fraught with ethical issues and non-embryonic methods are complicated--and complexity introduces a greater chance of something going wrong (in this case that means mutations and genetic defects). The new method, which taps skin-like cells from the linings of the kidney tubes that are present in urine, converts its source cells into neurons and glia cells via a more direct route, making the process more efficient while narrowing the margin of error.
This time, Pei and his colleagues converted the cells using vectors that did not integrate into the cell's genome. The technique was successful, and converted the cells into stem cells in just 12 days, half the time that other cells have taken. With some more time, the cells showed the rosette shape customary for neuron cells. The team grew the cells and they turned into fully functional neurons in the laboratory. The technique seems to be quicker, more effective, and hopefully less error-prone than other methods.