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Stem Cell Research Stem Cell Research

Molecule that Enables Stem Cells to Keep on Multiplying Discover

15 years, 2 months ago

633  0
Posted on Jun 08, 2003, 1 p.m. By Bill Freeman

UK scientists have discovered a molecule that enables embryonic stem cells to keep on multiplying. Embryonic stem cells have the special ability to turn into almost any type of cell, thus many scientists believe that they will enable us to treat currently incurable diseases. Although, as the cells are derived from embryos their use is highly controversial.

UK scientists have discovered a molecule that enables embryonic stem cells to keep on multiplying. Embryonic stem cells have the special ability to turn into almost any type of cell, thus many scientists believe that they will enable us to treat currently incurable diseases. Although, as the cells are derived from embryos their use is highly controversial. However, there is a possibility that this new discovery, by Dr Ian Chambers and colleagues at the Institute for Stem Cell Research at Edinburgh University, could overcome this controversy by enabling scientists to transform stem cells obtained from adult cells into stem cells with the same characteristics as those obtained from embryos. The researchers found that the molecule, which has been named Nanog, after the mythological Celtic land of the ever young, is responsible for making stem cells immortal.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Cell 2003;113:643-655.

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