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27 May 2017

Scientists have found a way to create 'abundant, fully functioning' haematopoietic stem cells, it was announced on Wednesday.

The discovery is a 'game-changing breakthrough,' the US researchers said.

The cells are generated from vascular endothelial cells, according to the report in Nature from a team at the Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA.

The scientists first announced their discoveries three years ago but were not able to prove they had successfully created haematopoietic stem cells.

The latest discovery involved laboratory mice and has yet to be replicated in humans.

Researcher Dr Joseph Scandura said: 'This is exciting because it provides us with a path towards generating clinically useful quantities of normal stem cells for transplantation that may help us cure patients with genetic and acquired blood diseases.'

He added: 'It might allow us to provide healthy stem cells to patients who need bone marrow donors but have no genetic match.

'It could lead to new ways to cure leukaemia, and may help us correct genetic defects that cause blood diseases like sickle-cell anaemia.'

His fellow researcher Professor Shahin Rafii said: 'This is a game-changing breakthrough that brings us closer not only to treat blood disorders, but also deciphering the complex biology of stem-cell self-renewal machinery.'


Source: Conversion of adult endothelium to immunocompetent haematopoietic stem cells Nature 17 May 2017; doi:10.1038/nature22326

Link to the report


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