Japanese research team develops method to screen out versatile IPS cells

A Japanese research team has developed a method to screen out iPS cells that are particularly good at differentiating into body cells. The team believes the genes also play a role when the cells transform into other body cells. Experts have learned that some iPS cells are adept at differentiating, while others are not and are prone to turning cancerous later on. A research group from Kyoto and Kobe Universities compared the 2 types of cells. They found that 3 particular genes were active in iPS cells that are not good at differentiating.

Kobe University Assistant Professor Michiyo Aoi says the genes could be used as markers to screen out poorly performing iPS cells quickly and accurately. The finding could help enhance the safety of regenerative therapy that uses these types of reprogrammed stem cells.

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