'Significant milestone' in medicine: scientists reset human stem cells

September 12, 2014 7:25 AM

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Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into cells with highly specialized functions. They can be classified according to their plasticity, or developmental versatility, and range from totipotent stem cells (the most versatile type) and pluripotent to multipotent (the least versatile).

Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to become almost any of the cell types of the body, including muscle, nerve, heart and blood. They can be produced in a lab from cells extracted from an early stage embryo or from adult cells that have been induced into a pluripotent state.

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