Reprogramming Stem Cells

(From MSNBC). Stem cell research will lead - we hope - to a complete understanding of cellular machinery, an essential first step towards all the most futuristic visions of medical science. The mechanisms of differentiation are a good early target in this research: "Imagine being able to reprogram the cells of your own body to produce fresh heart cells, regenerated nerve cells to heal spinal cord injuries, pancreatic cells to stop diabetes - or any other type of tissue to cure what ails you. ... Our group, and I know at least two or three others, are playing with different techniques, and it's very clear that something is going on here. We're definitely getting reprogramming." Sadly, anti-research groups use this sort of news to try and denigrate embryonic stem cell research, a field that is vital to achieving near- and long-term research goals in the fight to cure age-related illness.



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