Skin Cells Converted to Stem Cells
Scientists' Work Could Clear Moral Hurdle to Embryonic Research
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 22, 2005
Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells -- without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.
The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells -- such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers -- to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.