never let me go

6 Sep

We’re completing our embryology course with a brief study of embryonic, adult, and induced pluripotent stem cells.  In the words of our course packet, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state by being forced to express genes and factors important for maintaining the defining properties of embryonic stem cells.  Flippin’ awesome, no?

Okay, why is this a really big deal?  While I recognize that there are still ethical dilemmas to consider, this study is less controversial than the use of embryonic stem cells, and perhaps even more effective.  If iPSCs can be used for cell-based therapies (like repairing a damaged heart, forming insulin-producing cells that could be used in transplantation therapy for persons with diabetes), there is a far lesser chance of rejection by the host, since they were, in fact, derived from the host.  We might even be able to use iPSCs to test new drugs.

Our embryology final is on the 14th, and this movie comes out on the 15th.  Weird coincidence.  I’m already totally freaked out, but excited to see it, even though Keira Knightly, not my favorite.  Love Carey Mulligan.

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