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World first: Chinese scientists create pig stem cells. Discovery has far-reaching implications for animal and human health

3 June 2009

Scientists have managed to induce cells from pigs to transform into pluripotent stem cells – cells that, like embryonic stem cells, are capable of developing into any type of cell in the body. It is the first time in the world that this has been achieved using somatic cells (cells that are not sperm or egg cells) from any animal with hooves (known as ungulates). The implications of this achievement are far-reaching; the research could open the way to creating models for human genetic diseases, genetically engineering animals for organ transplants for humans, and for developing pigs that are resistant to diseases such as swine flu. The work is the first research paper to be published online today in the newly launched Journal of Molecular Cell Biology.

From the paper: Generation of Pig-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with a Drug-Inducible System, Zhao Wu, Jijun Chen, Jiangtao Ren, Lei Bao, Jing Liao, Chun Cui, Linjun Rao, Hui Li, Yijun Gu, Huiming Dai, Hui Zhu, Xiaokun Teng, Lu Cheng, and Lei Xiao

Journal of Molecular Cell Biology Advance Access published on June 3, 2009

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