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Stem cell advance uses cloning

Method using eggs to do reprogramming is successful in humans

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4:32pm, October 6, 2011

The same technology that is used to clone animals can induce human eggs to reprogram adult cells to a primitive embryonic-like state. The accomplishment, reported in the Oct. 6 Nature, may one day help researchers develop a source of stem cells that could be used to replace a patient’s own cells.

Scientists had previously shown through cloning experiments that egg cells from many different kinds of animals could perform the feat, but until now, there was no evidence that human eggs could do it.

“There was a big question mark whether this was indeed possible,” says Dieter Egli, a researcher at the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

Though promising from a research perspective, the stem cells Egli and his colleagues produced can’t be used to treat patients.

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