(Washington, DC) -- Japanese researchers say they've discovered a safer way to make powerful stem cells out of ordinary cells.
Typically, retroviruses are used to integrate their own genetic material into the cells they infect which can be dangerous and can cause tumors.
However, the scientists used a ring of genetic material to safely transform ordinary cells into embryonic-like stem cells in mice and say the method might work in people.
They say the discovery could allow doctors to tailor-make transplants to treat diseases in people one day.
Embryonic stem cells have the potential to give rise to any type of tissue, but they are difficult to make and raise fears in some of cloning.
(Copyright 2008 by Newsroom Solutions)