Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute
and Massachusetts General Hospital
have taken a major step toward eventually being able to reprogram adult cells to an embryonic stem cell-like state without the use of viruses or cancer-causing genes. In a paper released online today
by the journal Cell Stem Cell, Konrad Hochedlinger and colleagues report that they have both discovered how long adult cells need to be exposed to reprogramming factors before they convert to an embryonic-like state, and have "defined the sequence of events that occur during reprogramming."