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Non-embryonic stem cells pass major hurdle in mice

It's being hailed as a major advance in stem cell research.
/ Source: The Associated Press

It's being hailed as a major advance in stem cell research.

Studies published in two journals today say teams of Chinese scientists managed to produce live mice from stem cells coaxed from the skin tissue of adult mice and then reprogrammed.

While there were abnormalities and unusual deaths in the first generation of mice, one team produced enough normal mice to create hundreds of second and third generation mice.

The process did not involve destroying embryos.

A leading stem cell researcher who was not part of either study says the work is important because it show that the new type of stem cells "satisfy the most stringent criteria of embryonic stem cells." Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children's Hospital of Boston says while the process isn't very efficient, it demonstrates "the ability to make a mouse entirely from cells in a petri dish."

The findings are in two competing scientific journals, Nature and Cell Stem Cell.

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Research scientist checks on the viability of embryonic stem cells at a laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, with STEM CELL RESEARCH lettering, finished graphic

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