Soon enough, the whole embryonic stem cell debate will be out the window:

Three research groups used similar methods to prod certain immune cells in human blood to become induced pluripotent stem cells. Because they are reprogrammed adult cells, these stem cells share many of the same regenerative abilities as true embryonic stem cells but may not have as much versatility in the kinds of mature cells they can become. But induced pluripotent cells are harvested from adults and so don’t face the same ethical mires posed by embryo-derived stem cells. And as techniques for manipulating induced pluripotent cells improve, some researchers think they may be just as useful.

The new studies accomplished the reprogramming feat by using viruses to deliver a four-gene cocktail that reverts the cells to a naive state in which any developmental path is open. In theory at least, these induced pluripotent stem cells could go on to form neurons in the brain, muscle cells in the leg or beating heart cells.

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