London, Jan 24 (IANS) British scientists have achieved a remarkable breakthrough in the transformation of human cells that paves the way for a new range of treatments for a variety of medical conditions.
They demonstrated the creation of a system that predicts how to create any human cell type from another cell type directly, without the need for experimental trial and error.
The ability to produce numerous types of human cells will lead directly to tissue therapies of all kinds, to treat conditions from arthritis to macular degeneration, to heart disease, the findings revealed.
“This represents a significant breakthrough in regenerative medicine and paves the way for life-changing medical advances within a few years from now and the possibility in the longer term of improving the quality of longer lives as well as making them longer,” said Julian Gough, professor at the University of Bristol.
The fuller understanding, at the molecular level of cell production leading on from this, may allow the researchers to grow whole organs from somebody’s own cells, the findings, published in Nature Genetics, showed.
Pluripotent stem cells — that can give rise to all of the cell types that make up the body — can be used to treat many different medical conditions and diseases.
The researchers tested two new human cell conversions, and succeeded first time for both.
The speed with which this was achieved suggests Mogrify — a system that predicts how to create any human cell type from any other cell type directly — will enable the creation of a great number of human cell types in the lab.