News of the WeekDevelopmental Biology

Stem Cells Are Coaxed to Produce Insulin

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Science  27 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5517, pp. 615-617
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5517.615b

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In a paper published online today by Science (, researchers describe a five-step culturing technique that can turn mouse embryonic stem cells into cell clusters that resemble the insulin-producing islets of the pancreas. The cells produce small amounts of insulin and seem to behave similarly to normal pancreas cells. Important caveats remain, however.