Regenerative stem cells revert mice to youthful state - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Regenerative stem cells revert mice to youthful state

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Scientists in Spain say they've made mature cells in living mice revert to their youthful state.

The discovery was found at Spain's National Cancer Research Center, and could be a major step in the ability to regenerate human tissue by stem cells.

Researchers said the discovery opens up possibilities of a procedure that could heal damaged tissue by reprogramming nearby adult cells.

Stem cells are immature cells that differentiate into specialized cells that comprise and maintain the human body.

A 2006 team led by Shinya Yamanaka announced they could re-program some mature cells into stem cells by introducing only four genes into the cells.

Manuel Serrano and Maria Abad at Spain's National Cancer Research Center said they have created genetically modified mice that carried these Yamanaka genes. Those genes helped to reprogram living mature cells into stem cells in the mice.

Serrrano said the experiments confirm reprogramming can be done in living tissue, and not just in a petri dish.

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