Skip to comments.Swedish team turns skin into nerve cells
Posted on 06/07/2011 8:07:52 AM PDT by WesternCulture
A team of researchers at Lund University in southern Sweden have managed to develop nerve cells from human skin cells without using stem cells - a development described as an ethical and medical breakthrough.
"This fundamentally changes how we look at mature cells and their capacity. Previously a skin cell was thought to always remain a skin cell, but we have shown that it can be any cell," said Malin Parmar, the Lund University researcher leading the study, to The Local on Tuesday.
The new technique works by reprogramming connective tissue cells, so-called human fibroblasts, directly into nerve cells, opening up a new field with the potential to "take research around cell transplantation to the next level".
Parmar explained that members of the research team were surprised at how receptive the fibroblasts were for new instructions.
"From the beginning this was mostly an experiment that was fun to try out. But fairly quickly it was shown that the cells were unexpectedly receptive to instructions," she said.
The study appears in the latest edition of the respected journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), published by the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Parmar told The Local that the team hopes that their work could help to tackle diseases such as Parkinson's and help to avoid the ethical complications of using foetal stem cells.
"It could be used to assist in the treatment of Parkinson's, or any other type of neuro-degenerative disease. It provides an alternative to stems cells," she said.
"Furthermore it allows for the use of a patient's own cells to study the specifics of their condition in a Petri dish - limiting the potential for adverse reactions."
Before the technique is used in clinics more research is required into how the new nerve cells survive and work in the brain, but the goal in the future is to enable doctors to develop the brain cells a patient needs from a simple skin or hair sample.
If true, perhaps this could lead to treatments for anything from Parkinsons, to MS, to ALS, to spinal cord injuries, etc.
Here is another Swedish team, with very nice skin cells!
- Yes, let's hope so.
If we also could circumvent the ethical dilemmas surrounding stem cell research and manipulation, much would be gained.
“Parmar told The Local that the team hopes that their work could help to tackle diseases such as Parkinson’s and help to avoid the ethical complications of using foetal stem cells. It could be used to assist in the treatment of Parkinson’s, or any other type of neuro-degenerative disease. It provides an alternative to stems cells,” she said.”
Sloppy headline. The words “Swedish” and “Team” should always be joined by the conjunction “Bikini”.
Hopefully, further research will prove that the use of embryonic stem cells isnt needed.
“Here is another Swedish team, with very nice skin cells!
- Many Swedish female university students in fact look like that.
(But for some reason, those who take courses in gender studies and do not.)
I could think of a lot of negative things to say about Swedish women, but in the areas of looks and intelligence few nations, if any, can compete with Sweden.
I think that's universal in every nation.
I think this is in line with some other recent research.
I did get to spend 1 week at the University of Stockholm several years ago. Your observations agree with mine. Unfortunately, it was in late January.
There will come anonther term.
Now, at last, there really IS hope for the Liberal mind. Simply collecting surplus skin from the Libtard patient, followed by appropriate processing, and even the Libtards could have sufficient brain cells to no longer be Libtards.
Will wonders never cease!
Recent reports demonstrate that somatic mouse cells can be directly converted to other mature cell types by using combined expression of defined factors. Here we show that the same strategy can be applied to human embryonic and postnatal fibroblasts. By overexpression of the transcription factors Ascl1, Brn2, and Myt1l, human fibroblasts were efficiently converted to functional neurons. We also demonstrate that the converted neurons can be directed toward distinct functional neurotransmitter phenotypes when the appropriate transcriptional cues are provided together with the three conversion factors. By combining expression of the three conversion factors with expression of two genes involved in dopamine neuron generation, Lmx1a and FoxA2, we could direct the phenotype of the converted cells toward dopaminergic neurons. Such subtype-specific induced neurons derived from human somatic cells could be valuable for disease modeling and cell replacement therapy.The right sidebar says the PDF article is OPEN ACCESS, i.e. a FReebie.
Obviously, this is ethically problematic, but it's water under the bridge now. I don't think that the knowledge gained should be ignored if it is clinically useful with adult differentiated, mature cells, IMHO.