Better, Faster Dopamine Cells

Sometimes the difference between promising lab work and viable basis for commercial therapy is a simple doubling of efficiency - infrastructure is at the heart of progress. Here, ScienceBlog reports on improvements in the production of stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease or similar age-related conditions: "For all of the promise embryonic stem cells hold for therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, they are notoriously difficult to use. One problem is in coaxing them into becoming brain cells that make dopamine, which is in short supply in the brains of individuals with Parkinson's. ... We have been able to show we could generate a process in the tissue culture dish that is simple, rapid, and uses defined reagents, most of which are human products. We can make them into dopamine neurons in a dish, and they are mature."



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