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Stem Cell DialoguesA Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers$
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Sheldon Krimsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167482

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167482.001.0001

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Reprogramming Cells

Reprogramming Cells

(p.75) Dialogue 12 Reprogramming Cells
Stem Cell Dialogues

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

In this dialogue, Dr. Rebecca Franklin and Dr. Frederick Jones, a stem cell biologist, discuss the prospects of cell reprogramming for producing therapeutic stem cells. The process of reprogramming an adult cell to its pluripotent stem cell origins, sometimes referred to as “dedifferentiation,” creates what are called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The first evidence of this type of reprogramming from mouse cells was provided by Shinya Yamanaka and his colleagues at Kyoto University in Japan in 2006. Jones has invested considerable time reprogramming somatic cells to make them into embryonic stem cell-like cells (pluripotency). Franklin questions him about reversing the development of a differentiated cell, drawing on her knowledge of epigenetics and cellular biology. Here they talk about the possibilities for creating iPSCs from somatic cells that are more like their embryonic counterparts; oncogene expression and tumorigenesis in embryonic stem cells; and roadblocks to regenerative medicine involving iPSCs.

Keywords:   cell reprogramming, therapeutic stem cells, dedifferentiation, induced pluripotent stem cells, mouse cells, somatic cells, epigenetics, tumorigenesis, embryonic stem cells, regenerative medicine

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