Cellular Reprogramming

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1753
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5909.1753b

After fertilization of the egg its daughter cells progress through embryonic, fetal, and adult stages, taking various pathways to specify the myriad differentiated cell types of an organism. Although these pathways are generally viewed as one-way and irreversible, recent studies report “reprogramming” methods by which a cell is converted to another cell type. Gurdon and Melton (p. 1811) review the history and lay out the current understanding of, and future prospects for, cellular reprogramming as seen in somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, the generation of induced pluripotent cells, and direct cellular reprogramming.

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