Novel and simple means of iPSC production

  1. Ryan_m_b

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm a few weeks behind in this news but it seems that an astoundingly simple way of producing pluripotent stem cells has been discovered. The method is being called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency and involves a transient exposure to low pH.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7485/full/nature12968.html

    The work still has to be reproduced but at the moment STAP cells seem to show all the hallmarks of pluripotency. If this turns out to be a valid method it would provide a far simpler and presumably more controllable way of creating stem cells than any other method.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. As a follow up, the RIKEN researcher is already under investigation for what some on the internet are calling data manipulation:

    http://www.nature.com/news/acid-bath-stem-cell-study-under-investigation-1.14738

    http://www.ipscell.com/stap-new-data/

    (although for now I think they should get the benefit of the doubt, it could have just been an honest mistake).


    I'm wondering what this means for the past 40+ years of cell biology. If simply pushing your cells through a pipette can transform them that much into STAPs, then how much of our science is wrong? People every day use pipettes and vortex cells, run cells through microfluidic channels on lab on a chip device research, or use something like FACS to separate cells. If mechanical stress can change them that much, who knows what the consequences are.
     
  4. Ryan_m_b

    Staff: Mentor

    The effects of mechanical forces have been a hot topic in regenerative medicine over the past few years as more discoveries point to the importance of things like substrate stiffness and topology on determining cell behaviour. I know it's been of discussion with regards to 2D modelling versus emerging 3D model techniques as the former, whilst very widely used, is obviously insufficient.

    I'm really interested to see where this goes with regards to cancer research. The pH and pressure inside a tumour is quite different to the rest of the body, the implication here could suggest that this effect also could be changing the cancer cell behaviour.

    Still would be good to be hesitant though like you say until confirmation comes in.
     
  5. Ygggdrasil

    Ygggdrasil 1,655
    Science Advisor

    Things are not looking good for the STAP cell paper. The corresponding author of one of the papers is calling for them to be retracted:

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/03/call-for-acid-bath-stem-cell-paper-to-be-retracted.html
     
  6. Ygggdrasil

    Ygggdrasil 1,655
    Science Advisor

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