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  • 7/5/2010

Frozen blood, new stem cell source

frozen blood

Frozen blood from stored samples can be used to make cells resembling stem cells, providing a potentially more accessible source for these valuable cells.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) -- lab-made cells that closely resemble human embryonic stem cells and therefore can be used to develop various body tissues -- had long been extracted from the skin.

A new study, however, reported that frozen blood samples are a precious and easier to work with source for these cells.

According to a study published in Cell Stem Cell, the extraction of iPS cells from blood is much easier than from skin.

"Blood is the easiest, most accessible source of cells, because you’d rather have 20 milliliters of blood drawn than have a punch biopsy taken to get skin cells," said lead researcher Judith Staerk.

Scientists believe their findings would pave the way for the discovery of the underlying causes of certain diseases that currently have no cures or treatments.

"There are enormous resources - blood banks with samples from patients that may hold the only viable cells from patients who may not be alive any more, or from the early stage of their diseases," said Jaenisch, adding that these cells can be used to study the underlying disease.

Source: presstv.ir

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