Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: a New Hope or a New Controversy?

Abstract

It seems unbelievable but it is true – cells within an organism are genetically almost identical and yet they are as dissimilar structurally and functionally as the human mind can conceive. The neurons which conduct the nerve impulses, the villi which line the gastrointestinal tract, the retinal cells which are responsible for our vision, and the immune cells which act as the body’s sentinel have hardly anything in common between them. All these highly specialized cells are said to be terminally differentiated - they have lost their ability to become something else. Therefore, it was heralded as a significant breakthrough in science, when more than a decade ago, Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Scotland demonstrated that a mature differentiated somatic cell taken from an adult mammal could be reprogrammed to give rise to an entire animal, which came to be known to the entire world as Dolly the sheep (Campbell 1996, 64).

Keywords

therapeutic cloning, stem cells

How to Cite

Mukherjee, S., (2008) “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: a New Hope or a New Controversy?”, Opticon1826 5.

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Authors

Sayandip Mukherjee (UCL)

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