Saturday, August 12, 2006


The Hidden Code of Stem Cells

The DNA of embryonic stem cells is labeled in a unique and characteristic way, according to new research from scientists in California. The pattern could shed light on how embryonic stem cells maintain their ability to become any type of cell and might also help efforts to clone these cells, allowing scientists to develop better stem cell therapies...

...Epigenetic changes to DNA are those that alter expression of certain genes, for instance by reversibly tagging those genes, without changing the sequence of the DNA itself. In a paper published last week in Genome Research, researchers studied one such process, called DNA methylation, in which certain molecules within the gene are chemically modified, altering the activity of that particular gene...

The above is based on "Human embryonic stem cells have a unique epigenetic signature" (open access).

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