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Mouse method turns skin cells to stem cells

Scientists have reprogrammed mouse skin cells to mimic embryonic stem cells that can morph into any type of cell in the body.

Last year, Shinya Yamanaka and his team at Kyoto University in Japan found that they could insert into skin fibroblast cells active copies of four genes earlier identified as essential to a stem cell's pluripotency—the ability to turn into any cell. But the researchers had trouble isolating the less than 0.1 percent of skin cells that became fully reprogrammed by the added genes.

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