The new light for the stem cell research is iPS cells. iPS cells are a new popular innovation in the stem cell research community, and give good hope for a possible replacement to embryonic cells.
Commonly abbreviated as iPS cells or iPSCs, are a type of pluripotent [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluripotent] stem cell [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell] artificially derived from a non-pluripotent [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluripotent] cell, typically an adult somatic cell [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_cell] , by inducing a “forced” expression of certain genes [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene] . Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are believed to be identical to natural pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryonic_stem_cell] in many respects, such as the expression of certain stem cell genes and proteins,
Firstly lab mice were injected with a few mutated human genes of the blood disease, sickle-cell anemia. The infected mice were then injected with iPS cells that acted as stem cells. These cells were harvested from the skin of mice. The result were great, and many mice were cured of the sickle-cell anemia disease. The results give hope for a future cure for the disease of sickle-cell anemia and it’s sufferers. According to the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), “further analysis and refinement of the approach will be necessary to understand whether this experimental approach can eventually be applied to people”.
IPSCs were first produced in 2006 from mouse cells and in 2007 from human cells. This has been cited as an important advancement in stem cell research, as it may allow researchers to obtain pluripotent stem cells, which are important in research and potentially have therapeutic uses, without the controversial [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell_controversy] use of embryos.