Reprogrammed Adult Cells Not an Alternative to Embryonic Stem Cells

Although Daley's research suggested that cells refashioned into pluripotent stem cells still remember its original tissue structure, Morrison said these cells could still be useful for other types of therapies besides ones that need embryonic stem cells or adult tissue cells.

"In the end, adult stem cells will probably prove superior for certain therapeutic applications, reprogrammed cells might work for other applications, and embryonic cells for others," said Morrisson.

While some studies suggest that each stem cell type contains unique features that are not identical to another type, Morrison said many similarities and differences of each stem cell type are not well understood.

"These are some of the first studies to suggest that there really are important differences," said Morrison.

Lemischka said understanding the comparative features of each type of stem cell will help researchers find the potential benefits of all.

"The main impact of IPS technology will be to develop reliable and robust ways to model and study disease," said Lemischka. "And that will lead to making suitable cell populations to study drugs that hopefully will [treat diseases]."

But to do that, Daley said it is important to continue researching embryonic stem cells to find how to better manipulate induced pluripotent stem cells.

"It's at great risk to the progress of the field, to ignore the lessons that embryonic stem cells still have to teach us," said Daley.

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