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Scientists create stem cells by traumatizing adult cells

30
Jan
2014

The technique allows for the creation of embryonic-style stem cells by doing little more than applying stress to existing adult cells. Like other stem cells, this new type is incredibly malleable and can be transformed into almost any other cell type, but their simple creation is said to make them a faster option — and their creation could potentially lead to a new understanding of how cells work. So far, the research has only been performed in mice, and researchers say the next step is to see if this technique can create stem cells in more complicated mammals, eventually leading up to humans. STAP cells begin as mature adult cells and are then briefly introduced to severe trauma — be it acidic conditions or oxygen starvation — until they near the point of death.

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