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Scientists discover a new, simpler way to make stem cells

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posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:20 PM

Boston Globe

A team of Boston and Japanese researchers stunned the scientific world Wednesday by revealing a remarkably simple and unexpected way to create stem cells that can become any of the diverse cell types in the body.

The secret? Just bathe mature cells in acid for half an hour. The result is “shocking,” “astounding,” “revolutionary,” and “weird,” said scientists not accustomed to using such exuberant words to describe research findings.

BBC News

Acid bath
Now a study shows that shocking blood cells with acid could also trigger the transformation into stem cells - this time termed STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells.

Dr Haruko Obokata, from the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan, said she was "really surprised" that cells could respond to their environment in this way.

She added: "It's exciting to think about the new possibilities these findings offer us, not only in regenerative medicine, but cancer as well."


This new discovery not only means that we can produce stem cells cheaply and quickly but also potentially cut through the ethical debate, because no embryos would be harmed. If it works in humans, that is. Of course, there's plenty more research to be done before scientists can fully understand the process and develop methods for stem cell research. But hot damn, this is good news.

The research so far has only been done on mice, but human trials should be underway soon. It's still very exciting to see something like this occur over a weekend. Great things to come!

Additional reading: Acid bath offers easy path to stem cells
Potency Unchained

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:30 PM
Well, at least one of the articles specifies they're doing this with white blood cells, I was about to call "BS" on it if they were claiming you could do it to red blood cells.

Hopefully the resulting stem cells aren't 'whack', white cells tend to be pretty unusual in terms of their nuclei. Most have more than one, or the nucleus is highly modified from somatic cells in terms of shape and presentation.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:38 PM
It's a great leap forward for stem cell research though I already posted it a few days ago on this thread but really not surprised you couldn't find it as the new search engine is useless.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:54 PM
reply to post by theabsolutetruth

Well poop. If I scrolled just a smidge more I would have seen it in this forum. Cheers on posting such a fascinating topic

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 08:20 AM
reply to post by ATSmediaPRO

Okay. I'm good with in vitro on this one.


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