Essay on Summary : ' Your Inner Healers '

1720 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
Stem Cell Assignment

1. Summary of “Your Inner Healers”
New scientific discoveries have shown that adult mouse cells can be “rewound” to once again be pluripotent like they were in their former embryonic state by adding a mixture of genes to the cells (called induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, or iPSCs).
This contradicts the natural progression of cells’ potency as they age: in their early formation, embryonic cells have the ability to mature into any one of the 220 types of human cells, and soon after that they begin to lose potency and are only multipotent — able to develop into just a few different types of cells, until finally they become terminally differentiated, and therefore unable to develop into any other types of cells.
The only naturally occurring exception to mammalian cells’ inability to dedifferentiate is cancer cells — they can essentially reverse in development to be less differentiated than the cells of the tissues they are inhabiting. Coupled with their ability to divide much more than regular, healthy cells, this can make cancer cells essentially immortal.
An older approach used for reprogramming cells was cloning (known better in the scientific community as somatic cell nuclear transfer). This meant adult genetic information could be input in an egg cell which has had its DNA removed, and then the egg develops into an embryo whose pluripotent cells can be used.
Through cloning, the genetic information implanted from the adult cell seems to become younger,…

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