scientists from the Genome Institute Singapore (GIS) created a method that will turn stem cells into a specific type of cell that can develop organs like pancreas and liver. The stem cell that can develop a specific type of cell is called endoderm. Endoderm is desired because of its biotech and therapeutic purposes. But endoderm is difficult to extract from human Pluripotent Stem Cells (hPSCs).
The Challenge of Extracting Endoderm
Scientists are trying to generate more stem cells but the challenge lies in there. You should know that there are two hundred different cell types in the body which respond to diverse protein instruction. Generally speaking, stem cells have the ability to develop into different types of tissues. If scientists become successful coaxing stem cells, the brain, bone, heart, pancreas, liver and other organs can be repaired or replaced. This will surely benefit mankind.
Addressing the Challenge
Scientists published their stem cell and endoderm discoveries in the Cell Stem Cell journal. In the journal, scientists revealed how they address the challenge of generating a specific cell type that can give rise to pancreas and liver. Scientists screen chemicals and proteins that can promote the formation of a desired type of cell. Scientists discovered the grouping of triggers that could motivate endoderm populations. The access to endoderm populations draws the attention of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. They are thinking about testing drug toxicities in liver cells.
According to AS (Agency for Science) which is the parent agency of GIS, the study is in partnership with Stanford University (Medical School and Institute for Stem Cell) and other organizations. The study looks promising and this is good news for people who are suffering from a damaged liver or pancreas.
25 Jul 2014