Looks like you’re on the UK site. Choose another location to see content specific to your location

Home Industry News Stem cell research provides genetic diseases insight

Stem cell research provides genetic diseases insight

22nd December 2008

Stem cell research has provided an “enormous” step forward in the study of genetic diseases, scientists claim.

Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recreated the hallmarks of a genetic disorder in a laboratory, using stem cells derived from a patient.

Outlined in the journal Nature today, the study created disease-specific cells by genetically reprogramming skin cells from a patient with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

The method turns back the cells’ developmental clock and returns them to an embryonic-like state from which they can become any of the body’s 220 different cell types.

The resulting induced pluripotent stem cells – known as iPS cells – harness the blank-slate developmental potential of embryonic stem cells without the embryo and have been heralded by experts as a “powerful” potential way to study development and disease.

Clive Svendsen, co-director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Centre says: “Now you can replay the human disease over and over in the dish and ask what are the very early steps that began the process. It’s an incredibly powerful new tool.”

After about a month, the motor neurons from the patient-derived cells began to disappear.

Experts claim they can now begin to dissect what kills the motor neurons and why these cells alone are targeted in the disease.

We currently have 9 jobs available in Pharmacy industry, find your perfect one now.

Stay informed

Receive the latest industry news, Tips
and straight to your inbox.