Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have created expanded potential stem cells in mice which are showing huge potential as compared to stem cell lines. The methods used can also help produce stem cell lines from animals such as pigs and cows well as from humans. Researchers also believe that the study can help in the understanding of developmental disorders as well as miscarriages. The study may have implications for human regenerative medicine too, believe the researchers.
Existing stem cell lines are proving to be extremely useful for disease and treatment as well as research and development. Stem cells have the ability to develop into other cell types. There are a few exceptions for instance, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) and embryonic stem cells (ES) stem cells lines that are not able to form into any type of cell as they are already excluded from developing some cell lineages.
Researchers have created a new way for culturing cells when the fertilized egg has only divided into 4 to 8 cells and still contain totipotency. According to the hypothesis of these researchers, these cells should be less programmed as compared to ES cells, which are taken from around hundred cells stage of development. The key pathways and development signals have been inhibited in these cells as researchers grew these cells in special growth condition. The scientists named the new cultured cells as expanded potential stem cells as these cells which they cultured newly, kept the desired characteristics of the earliest cells.