Safer Pluripotent Stem Cells using Recombinant Protein Bath to Convert Cells

In Vitro and In Vivo Pluripotency of piPSCs
(A) piPSCs can effectively differentiate invitro into cells in the three germ layers, including neural progenitor cells (Pax6+), characteristic neurons (TUJ1+), mature cardiomyocytes (CT3+), definitive endoderm cells (Sox17+), pancreatic cells (Pdx1+), and hepatic cells (ALB+). Images were merged with DAPI (blue) staining.
(B) RT-PCR analysis of invitro differentiation of piPSCs.
(C) piPSCs incorporate into the ICM of the blastocytes after aggregation with eight-cell embryos (left). Chimeric fetuses (13.5 dpc, middle) were obtained after transfer of the piPSC aggregated embryos into pseudopregnant mice. piPSCs contributed to the germline cells (Oct4-GFP positive) in isolated genital ridge tissue from chimeric fetuses (found in 3 out of 17 fetuses, right).
(D) GFP genotyping confirmed piPSC contribution to multiple three germ layer tissues in chimeric fetuses, including heart, liver, brain, tail, and gonad tissues. A representative genomic PCR of GFP was shown for embryo 9 that also contains piPSC germline contribution.

A group of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions have achieved a breakthrough in converting adult cells all the way back to the most primitive embryonic-like cells without using the dangerous genetic manipulations associated with previous methods.

The team of scientists accomplished this extraordinarily challenging feat by engineering and using recombinant proteins, that is proteins made from the recombination of fragments of DNA from different organisms. Many different recombinant proteins have been therapeutically and routinely used to treat human diseases. Instead of inserting the four genes into the cells they wanted to reprogram, the scientists added the purified engineered proteins and experimented with the chemically defined conditions without any genetic materials involved until they found the exact mix that allowed them to gradually reprogram the cells.

The scientists found that those reprogrammed embryonic-like cells (dubbed “protein-induced pluripotent stem cells” or “piPS cells”) from fibroblasts behave indistinguishably from classic embryonic stem cells in their molecular and functional features, including differentiation into various cell types, such as beating cardiac muscle cells, neurons, and pancreatic cells.

The first author of the article, “Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Recombinant Proteins” was Hongyan Zhou of Scripps Research.

8 pages of supplemental data on the experiments

New Scientist also has coverage.

12 thoughts on “Safer Pluripotent Stem Cells using Recombinant Protein Bath to Convert Cells”

  1. looks promising but with all this money being spent on what will probably be used as war weapons its lame when it could be used for more worthy ideals when we need to learn how to make our own fuel and food before we run out of natural resources also china and India will come off way easier on this America is broke and debt ridden their super soldiers will have to wait till their done throwing money away

  2. some of the stuff actually sounds like it can help people in their everyday lives, but wall-crawling is a little too spiderman for my tastes, and we're not fighting wars with that kiind of a need, if this shit was around in WWII it might be useful, e.g. Climb up a wall, pull out the Nazi gunner, etc. But a lot of this seems to be based off of the comic book super-soldier projects, e.g. Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man. My opinion would be, if you're searching through comics for your ideas, try the SML8 project, Strategic Military Learner. Enhances senses and micro recorders that feed into the cerebral cortex to basically make it so one can do whatever one sees/ hears/ mentally envisions.

  3. The 80's, you say? So, before the World Wide Web? And you don't think that this research will trickle down?

    I'm sure my point has been made clear.

  4. if you think the trickle down tech and economy benefits will happen and that none of this will be classified and we will live in a star trek utopia universe then you still living in the ’80s

  5. DARPA might as well throw in curing aging along with the rest of their goals, given the budget and objective of this research program.

    No doubt other countries (China, India, etc.) will partake in similar type programs.

    It is only a matter of time before such results become available commercially.

  6. Points I care to make:

    1. Government projects can and do spin off technologies that improve the quality our daily lives.

    2. Government projects can and do spin off technologies that make our entire lives worse.

    3. It is useful to distinguish benefits to a daily life and detriments to an entire life (and sure, vice versa).

    4. The fruits of projects like these could benefit humankind in immeasurable ways.

    5. The nature of the fruits of projects like these is that they are pursued in the spirit of military domination.

    6. Immortality is the goal. Dominance is the goal. Since military prowess is somehow legitimate enough of a reason to pursue the fruits (as if they weren’t legitimate reasons in themselves), we can expect the quest for dominance to end only when it is complete and total.

    7. It’s completely unsubstantiated, but I’m sure DARPA projects are way ahead of where DARPA says they are.

    8. Look out for sonic guns, microwave guns, ELF guns, surveillance UAVs, nano-surveillance, surveillance “bugs,” TIA, GM crop deaths, suicide genes, etc. and I don’t know what.

    9. The powerful want to stay powerful. These research projects change the definition of power to one whose dictionary entry must include a picture of a giant piece of shit hitting a giant fan.

    10. Long wind, dark clouds, violins, apologies. Great article!

  7. Great to see this technology being worked on by the military. This means it’ll get a nice boost and more money put into it than would be otherwise given to the scientific community.

    Hooray for killing people!

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