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Brain Cells Reveal Surprising Versatility

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Science  02 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5471, pp. 1559-1561
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1559

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When a team of scientists reported last year that stem cells from the brains of adult mice could become functional blood cells, many scientists were intrigued, if a bit skeptical. Now, these versatile cells have shown even more surprising abilities: When injected into embryos, it seems, they can develop into nearly every type of tissue in the body. The work, described on page 1660, leaves a number of questions open. Even so, scientists are amazed at the cells' apparent flexibility.