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Washington University in St. Louis - School of Medicine
Department of Developmental Biology
Sep 19

Human skin cells transformed directly into motor neurons

A recent article in The Source, highlights Dr. Andrew Yoo's new technique that could aid treatments for diseases that lead to paralysis.

The study is published September 7th, 2017 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

“In this study, we only used skin cells from healthy adults ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s,” said senior author Andrew S. Yoo, PhD, an assistant professor of developmental biology. “Our research revealed how small RNA molecules can work with other cell signals called transcription factors to generate specific types of neurons, in this case motor neurons. In the future, we would like to study skin cells from patients with disorders of motor neurons. Our conversion process should model late-onset aspects of the disease using neurons derived from patients with the condition.”

“Going back through a pluripotent stem cell phase is a bit like demolishing a house and building a new one from the ground up,” Yoo said. “What we’re doing is more like renovation. We change the interior but leave the original structure, which retains the characteristics of the aging adult neurons that we want to study.”

To read more, click here

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