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August 5, 2011 / Martijn

Human skin cells converted directly into functional neurons

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have directly converted human skin cells into functional forebrain neurons, without the need for stem cells of any kind.The researchers used a combination of transcription regulators, plus several neuronal support factors, to convert human skin cells into forebrain neurons. This bypassed the need for induced pluripotent stem iPS cells. The induced neurons appear to be the same as ordinary neurons, judging from electrophysiological testing and gene expression profiling. The researchers also showed that the neurons are able to send and receive signals in laboratory culture and when transplanted into the central nervous system of mice.

via Human skin cells converted directly into functional neurons | KurzweilAI.

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