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Study Says Stem Cell Reprogramming Relatively Safe



To generate the iPSCs, the team followed the standard four-gene reprogramming procedure, but sought to minimize other potential sources of DNA mutations that might have influenced some previously reported results. The donor cells were relatively error-free fibroblast cells from fetal mice, kept only briefly in lab dishes before reprogramming.

When the team members analyzed the iPSCs, they used two strategies to distinguish which mutations were present in rare donor fibroblast cells and which were newly acquired during reprogramming. Their advanced techniques also allowed them to find more kinds of mutations, across a wide range of the genome. Rather than discovering more mutations, however, they found almost none. Michael Boland, Ph.D, and Kristin Baldwin, Ph.D, were senior authors of the report, which was first published in the Oct. 7, 2011, issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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