Scientists convert human skin cells directly into brain cells

October 24, 2014 10:07 AM

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Human skin cells (top) can be converted into medium spiny neurons (bottom) with exposure to the right combination of microRNAs and transcription factors, according to work by Andrew Yoo and colleagues.

The study is unusual because, unlike many cell conversion techniques, the cells did not return to a stem cell stage first - they converted directly into brain cells - thus avoiding the risk of producing many other types of cells.

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