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Stem Cell Advance Transforms the 1% into the 99%

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Researchers have identified a protein that is critical for keeping adult cells from turning back into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In cells that lack this protein, the transcription factor cocktail that is used to turn cells into iPS cells worked basically without fail; the efficiency of generating such cells skyrocketed from 1 percent of cells to more than 90 percent. Pluripotency is a double-edged sword. It is necessary for getting a whole organism out of a single cell. But in order to actually get anywhere with the work of making an organism, cells quickly need to give up their potential and settle down into one role. And stick with it.

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