Researchers have been able to transform stem cells into blood cells. The discovery could be used to produce new treatments for blood diseases, including leukemia.
In two experiments, published in Nature, researchers have demonstrated the technique of transforming stem cells into blood cells.
“This step represents a new opportunity for patients with genetic disease of the blood, the use of gene modification to correct genetic defects and the creation of functional blood cells,” says Ryohichi Sugimura, lead author of the study.
Another remarkable benefit of the technique could be the creation of an “unlimited blood reserve” by using cells from any donor.
Human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in 1998, AFP informs. Ten years later, researchers have succeeded in generating another type of cell that could be used for various purposes. These have been used to create neurons and heart cells.
Sugimura and his colleagues patented a three-step process to get blood stem cells.
The first step was to stimulate embryonic stem cells to transform into embryonic tissue. Through a natural process, they could lead to the growth of stem cells in the blood. The second step involved experimenting with hundreds of proteins to control gene function, largely during embryonic development.
Experts have discovered that five proteins stimulated stem cells to produce blood cell compounds. Finally, these stem cells from the blood were transplanted into the bone marrow of living mice.