Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Brain Cells

neuron fractal 4
neuron fractal 4 (Photo credit: Anthony Mattox)

A little creepy and a little cool, scientists at the Gladstone Institute report that they have turned the skin cells of mice and adult humans into brain cells. Those brain cells then quickly transformed themselves into functional neurons and then into neural networks.  Basically, they’ve created living models of the human brain. Leveraging the Gladstone discovery, Dr. Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) looks at this discovery as a way of refining human trials – making them safer. Further leveraging has produced something Gladstone Senior Investigator Sheng Ding, PhD, called induced pluripotent stem cells, which act like embryonic stem cells.
Leveraging the Gladstone discovery, Dr.Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) looks at this discovery as a way of refining human trials – making them safer. Further leveraging has produced something Gladstone Senior Investigator Sheng Ding, PhD, called induced pluripotent stem cells which act like embryonic stem cells.

“If we can pinpoint which genes control the development of each neuron type, we can generate them in the petri dish from a single sample of human skin cells … We could then test drugs that affect different neuron types — such as those involved in Parkinson’s disease — helping us to put drug development for neurodegenerative diseases on the fast track.” — Dr.Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Read the Article on ScienceDaily.com Skin cells reprogrammed into brain cells.

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