Archive for November, 2011
In a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at the University of Georgia describe a method that — in a single step — directs undifferentiated, or pluripotent, stem cells to become neural crest cells, which are the precursors of bone cells, smooth muscle cells and neurons. Getting stem cells to become the desired cell type has often been quite frustrating.
“Now that we have methods for efficiently making neural crest stem cells, we can start to use them to better understand human diseases,” said lead author Stephen Dalton, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Molecular Biology and professor of cellular biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “The cells also can be used in drug discovery and potentially in cell therapy, which involves the transplantation of cells.”