Rewiring stem cells
Researchers from the University of Cambridge Wellcome Trust-MRC Stem Cell Institute have developed a technique which can pinpoint the factors which drive cell differentiation, including many that were previously unidentified. The method, outlined in the Thursday (9 January) edition of the journal Cell Stem Cell, uses stem cells with a single set of chromosomes to uncover how cell differentiation works.
The method uses stem cells with a single set of chromosomes, instead of the two sets found in most cells, to reveal what causes the “circuitry” of stem cells to be rewired as they begin the process of conversion into other cell types. The same method could also be used to understand a range of biological processes.
Publication: Leeb M, Dietmann S, Paramor M, Niwa H, Smith A. Genetic Exploration of the Exit from Self-Renewal Using Haploid Embryonic Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2013.12.008.
Full article in Cell Stem Cell