Lab grown body parts, anyone?
Scientists have made a major advance in understanding how the cells of an organism, which all contain the same genetic information, come to be so diverse. A study shows that a protein called OCT4 narrows down the range of cell types that stem cells can become. The findings could impact efforts to produce specific types of cells for future therapies to treat a broad range of diseases.
Stem Cell Treatment Successfully Restores Sight | IFLScience. I wish they would try to inject stem cells into damaged optic nerves. Though, I'm not sure how intolerant the optic nerve would be to foreign antigens. Since it is legal to use embryonic stem cells now, people are getting their eye sight back.
A protein that helps embryonic stem cells retain their identity also promotes DNA repair. The findings raise the possibility that the protein, Sall4, performs a similar role in cancer cells, helping them fix DNA damage to survive chemotherapy. Fixing broken DNA is particularly important for embryonic stem cells because they will pass on any mutations to their differentiated descendants.