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Stem cells are both controversial and exciting. The controversy surrounding stem cells is based on when the cells are harvested, with many individuals ethically objecting to the use of human embryos. UCI MIND investigators do not use embryonic stem cells in their research. Stem cells can be directly obtained from adults, thereby bypassing any ethical concerns.
Few discoveries in biology have as great a transformative potential for altering modern medical research as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Enhancing our ability to study and understand the impact of disease in human cells in ways not previously possible, iPS cells are special because they are both pluripotent (capable of giving rise to every cell type in the human body) and immortal (allowing robust expansion and unprecedented resource sharing).
Notably, iPS cells can be derived from skin and blood samples. Through a minimally invasive procedure, any person, even older adults, can easily donate the skin or blood cells needed to develop iPS cells. Given the promise of iPS cells, UCI MIND has established a National Alzheimer’s Disease iPS Cell Bank as part of our Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. We believe this will be a valuable resource for the entire Alzheimer’s research community and fits with our pioneering role in stem cell research.
The process of deriving induced pluripotent stem cells.