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    From Nova Science PBS

    Stem Cells: Related Science News

    Mon, 31 Aug 2009
    One Step to Human Pluripotency
    Researchers have regressed human stem cells to an embryonic state using just a single transcription factor, as opposed to the four factors previously needed to induce pluripotency in human cells, according to a study published online today (August 28) in Nature.
    "This is another important milestone of [stem cell] research," Kwang-Soo Kim, a stem cell researcher at McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School, wrote in an email to The Scientist. "This elegant work further advances the already fast-moving field and demonstrates that human [induced pluripotent stem (iPS)] cells can be generated with [a] minimal number of retroviral vectors," added Kim, who was not involved in the work.
    Earlier this year, Hans Schoeler of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Muenster, Germany, and his colleagues succeeded in using just a single transcription factor, OCT4, to revert mouse adult neural stem cells to a pluripotent form, capable of producing other cell types, including germ cells that could be transmitted to the next generation. Now, Schoeler's group has found that the same factor can induce pluripotency in human cells as well.