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Scientists Turn Cord Blood Cells into Stem Cells

Researchers at the Salk Institute have released a statement that says they’ve reprogrammed cord blood cells to make them extremely similar to embryonic stem cells.

Stem cells can potentially become any tissue in the body, and embryonic stem cells are controversial because you have to utilize embryos to get them. Using reprogrammed adult stem cells is not ideal, given the many mutations those mature cells have undergone.

That’s why scientists at Salk Institute say their success in reprogramming umbilical cord blood cells into stem cells is significant. Dr. Izpisua Belmonte from the Salk Institute says they are unique in their ability to be transplanted without being rejected by the person’s immune system.

Cord blood banks could provide a potentially unlimited supply with this method. Dr. Belmonte says this process will require more testing to make sure the stem cells are safe and effective in practice.

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