Scientists find safer way to make human stem cells

Universal Medical SymbolCHICAGO, March 26 (Reuters) – U.S. researchers said on Thursday they have found a safer way to coax human skin cells into becoming powerful embryonic-like stem cells, taking a step closer to their potential use as treatments for diseases.

A team at the University of Wisconsin said they made the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, from human cells without using viruses or exotic genes, which leave behind genetic material that might pose risks if the cells were used as medical therapies.

James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, whose study appears in the journal Science, said the finding represents the first time researchers have made human induced pluripotent stem cells without inserting potentially problematic new genes into their DNA.

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