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More than pluripotent

A new type of stem cell can be produced in quantity and grown in other species

By Selina Koch, Staff Writer

A group at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has developed a method for generating pluripotent stem cells that solves the stability and scale-up problems of the commonly used approach, and results in a new type of stem cell that addresses one of the biggest hurdles - efficient transplantation into embryos. While this brings researchers closer to growing human tissues and organs in animals, it will likely trigger questions over when, how and whether that's a path to follow.

"These cells have the advantage that they can grow fast and homogeneously, and they are very stable," said Jun Wu, a research associate in Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte's lab at Salk and lead investigator on the study.

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  • THE DISTILLERY brings you this week's most essential scientific findings in therapeutics, distilled by Innovations editors from a weekly review of more than 400 papers in 41 of the highest-impact journals in the fields of biotechnology, the life sciences and chemistry. The Distillery goes beyond the abstracts to explain the commercial relevance of featured research, including licensing status and companies working in the field, where applicable.

    This week in therapeutics includes important research findings on targets and compounds, grouped first by disease class and then alphabetically by indication.

    This week in techniques includes findings about research tools, disease models and manufacturing processes that have the potential to enable or improve all stages of drug discovery and development.

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