Thursday, June 28, 2007

New type of rodent embryonic stem cell find "missing link"

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A new type of rodent embryonic stem cell, which is more similar to its human counterparts than current mouse stem cells, has been discovered, according to the Nature Wednesday.

The new mouse embryonic stem cells could provide a useful model to further understanding of human stem cells, which effectively constitute a "missing link" between mouse and human embryonic stem cells, according to Roger Pedersen, leader of the Cambridge group.

"The real advantage is that you now have another model to look at the underlying mechanisms related to stem cells becoming differentiated," said Paul Sanberg, professor of neurosurgery and director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa. "It's not a clinically oriented study, but it can be used for core research."

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which means they have the ability to develop into virtually any cell type in the body. The hope is that these cells may one day lead to treatments or cures for diseases such as diabetes, liver failure, spinal injury, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

Source : Xinhua

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