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Japan Science

Acid Bath Offers Easy Path To Stem Cells 71

ananyo writes "In 2006, Japanese researchers reported a technique for creating cells that have the embryonic ability to turn into almost any cell type in the mammalian body — the now-famous induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In papers published this week in Nature, another Japanese team says that it has come up with a surprisingly simple method — exposure to stress, including a low pH — that can make cells that are even more malleable than iPS cells, and do it faster and more efficiently. The work so far has focused on mouse white blood cells but the group are now trying to make the method work with cells from adult humans. If they're successful, that would dramatically speed up the process of creating stem cells for potential clinical applications."
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Acid Bath Offers Easy Path To Stem Cells

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  • Re:Wait? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Warbothong ( 905464 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:59AM (#46099817) Homepage

    Wait...I thought that the ban on stem-cell-farming from unborn babies was going to stunt US stem-cell research forever?

    TFA confirms that hypothesis: both of the techniques mentioned were discovered in Japan ;)

  • Re:Embryonic ability (Score:4, Informative)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:03PM (#46100315) Homepage Journal

    No, the problem is most people know they've been told "embryonic stem cells will cure every disease" or "you can make anything out of embryonic stem cells." Most people just know "stem cells" and are unaware that there's a difference; the word "embryonic" is just attached. Whenever non-embryonic stem cells are brought in, the only purpose of attaching "embryonic" is to groom your audience to follow your political opinions.

    Then you get the year 2000, with everyone arguing over stem cell bans that don't exist (Clinton banned embryonic stem cell research; Bush lifted the ban, with large restrictions). Big political issue, nobody understands the difference, they don't understand the medical position, the legislative position, or even that they're discussing a subset of a type of research--embryonic stem cell research is research into manipulating stem cells, just as adult stem cell research, but using a different starting point; this makes the issue much smaller than people ever believed.

    Then you get a voter base with incomplete knowledge. Then they may select the worst candidate because they believe all the minimally important issues are incredibly important, while all the maximally-important issues are dismissed or simply unknown.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein