The potential and versatility of stem cells continues to expand. Future Pundit reports on a new use:
Researchers converted human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells and then converted the stem cells into liver cells that were able to function in the livers of mice.
Scientists at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have successfully produced liver cells from patients’ skin cells opening the possibility of treating a wide range of diseases that affect liver function. The study was led by Stephen A. Duncan, D. Phil., Marcus Professor in Human and Molecular Genetics, and professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy, along with postdoctoral fellow Karim Si-Tayeb, Ph.D., and graduate student Ms. Fallon Noto.
This result shows that induced pluripotent stem cells can be converted into useful functioning cells. Still a lot of work to do to prove these cells are safe and effective in the long term. But this is a good step.