Skip to comments.New Genetic Technique Converts Skin Cells Into Brain Cells
Posted on 06/13/2011 8:52:07 AM PDT by Red Badger
A research breakthrough has proven that it is possible to reprogram mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage. The unexpectedly simple technique involves activating three genes in the skin cells; genes which are already known to be active in the formation of brain cells at the fetal stage.
The new technique avoids many of the ethical dilemmas that stem cell research has faced.
For the first time, a research group at Lund University in Sweden has succeeded in creating specific types of nerve cells from human skin. By reprogramming connective tissue cells, called fibroblasts, directly into nerve cells, a new field has been opened up with the potential to take research on cell transplants to the next level. The discovery represents a fundamental change in the view of the function and capacity of mature cells. By taking mature cells as their starting point instead of stem cells, the Lund researchers also avoid the ethical issues linked to research on embryonic stem cells.
Head of the research group Malin Parmar was surprised at how receptive the fibroblasts were to new instructions.
"We didn't really believe this would work, to begin with it was mostly just an interesting experiment to try. However, we soon saw that the cells were surprisingly receptive to instructions." The study, which was published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also shows that the skin cells can be directed to become certain types of nerve cells.
In experiments where a further two genes were activated, the researchers have been able to produce dopamine brain cells, the type of cell which dies in Parkinson's disease. The research findings are therefore an important step towards the goal of producing nerve cells for transplant...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
So it IS possible for someone to have their brains in their a$$!
Yes, but it’s no guarantee that they will use it. On the other hand a lot of men think with their d***.
So it may be possible for a liberal to grow a brain?
This is one of the reasons I’m against letting people like Terri Schiavo die. You never know what therapies may be available in the future.
I see a “little head” vs. “big head” joke in our near future.
I guess things brings to life the notion of males having two brains.
Save those foreskins.
I came in here to deposit some snide comment about Wiener, but I think I’ll just mosey along.
I always thought there was a relationship between skin and brain tissue...after all, Democrats are thin-skinned and thin-brained.
So the “I wish these were brains” chic gets her wish?