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Stem Cells from Chinese Pigs Ear

03 Jun 09

Scientists in China claim to have found a way to turn cells in a pig into stem cells, giving them the ability to any tissue of the animal according to the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology.

Researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology reprogrammed cells taken from a pig's ear and bone marrow, by introducing a cocktail of chemicals into the cells using a virus. Tests showed that the reprogrammed cells were capable of becoming any of the cell types that make up the three layers in a developing embryo.

Clearly a lot of research still needs to be done, but this is exciting news for researchers, as pigs, being very similar in size to humans, are regarded as an ideal source of transplant organs. This research could also pave the way for healthier animals.

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