Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time shown that it is possible to derive from a human embryo so-called ‘naïve’ pluripotent stem cells – one of the most flexible types of stem cell, which can develop into all human tissue other than the placenta.
Scientists have successfully ‘reset’ human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state – equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old). These ‘pristine’ stem cells may mark the true starting point for human development, but have until now been impossible to replicate in the lab.
A new method for developing stem cells enables the production of liver and pancreatic cells in “clinically relevant” quantities for the first time, paving the way for regenerative therapies.
Scientists have created cells which make up the walls of blood vessels; research could lead to new treatments and better screening for cardiovascular disease.