New UQ platform aids stem cell research

Researchers at The University of Queensland are part of a global team that has identified a new type of artificial stem cell.

UQ Associate Professor Christine Wells (right) said Project Grandiose had revealed it could track new ways to reprogram a normal adult cell, such as skin cells, into cells similar to those found in an early embryo.

The development is expected to help researchers explore ways to arrive at new cell types in the laboratory, with important implications for regenerative medicine and stem cell science.

Associate Professor Wells, who leads the Stemformatics stem cell research support unit at UQs Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, said the project involved a consortium of 50 researchers from Canada, Australia, Korea, the USA and the Netherlands

We all come from just one cell the fertilised egg and this cell contains within its DNA a series of instruction manuals to make all of the many different types of cells that make up our body, AIBN Associate Professor Wells said.

These very early stage cells can now be made in the lab by reversing this process of development.

Our research reveals the new instructions imposed on a cell when this developmental process is reversed.

Project Grandiose is a large-scale research effort to understand what happens inside a cell as it reverts to an artificial stem cell.

The role of the Stemformatics.org group was to help the researchers have access to the vast information and data they generated from the project, Associate Professor Wells said.

Our online data platform is designed to let non-specialists view the genes involved and the many ways they are regulated during cell formation.

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New UQ platform aids stem cell research

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