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Science in Brief

Stem cell methodology made safer

December 01, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Japanese researchers who devised a method for turning human skin cells into cells that closely resemble embryonic stem cells have modified their formula so that it no longer involves the cancer-causing gene c-Myc.

The new method is less efficient, but it does produce induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and colleagues reported Friday in Nature Biotechnology. Researchers injected the cells into 26 mice; none of the animals died of tumors. By contrast, six of the 37 mice injected with iPS cells derived with c-Myc succumbed to tumors during the study.

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