Staying a Boy Forever

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Science  21 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5551, pp. 2495-2497
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067914

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Stem cells hold great promise as replacement therapy for damaged or diseased tissues. But these rarefied cells do not seem ready to give up their secrets just yet. We still do not know the identity of the signals that tell the stem cells whether they should self-renew or differentiate. In a Perspective, Wasserman and DiNardo reveal the identity of a signal produced by hub support cells that instructs germ line stem cells in the fly testis to self-renew but not to differentiate (Tulina and Matunis; Kiger et al.).