induced pluripotent stem cells –

An important step in developing a therapy for a given disease is understanding exactly how the disease works: what exactly goes wrong in the body? To do this, researchers need to study the cells or tissues affected by the disease, but this is not always as simple as it sounds. For example, its almost impossible to obtain genuine brain cells from patients with Parkinsons disease, especially in the early stages of the disease before the patient is aware of any symptoms. Reprogramming means scientists can now get access to large numbers of the particular type of neurons (brain cells) that are affected by Parkinsons disease. Researchers first make iPS cells from, for example, skin biopsies from Parkinsons patients. They then use these iPS cells to produce neurons in the laboratory. The neurons have the same genetic background (the same basic genetic make-up) as the patients own cells. Thus scientist can directly work with neurons affected by Parkinsons disease in a dish. They can use these cells to learn more about what goes wrong inside the cells and why. Cellular disease models like these can also be used to search for and test new drugs to treat or protect patients against the disease.

iPS cells - derivation and applications:Certain genes can be introduced into adult cells to reprogramme them. The resulting iPS cells resemble embryonic stem cells and can be differentiated into any type of cell to study disease, test drugs or-after gene correction-develop future cell therapies

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induced pluripotent stem cells -

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