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Tir Nanog

06/16/06

  11:58:34 pm, by Nimble   , 178 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Science

Tir Nanog

Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature04914.html

Okay, so the Nature article is a little thick. How about the Register, then?

I've said for a while that embryonic stem cells were likely to be only a temporary stopping point, until we figured out what their "tricks" were, and could apply them to older cells. All of which made embryonic stem cell bans (even private enterprise had to go through incredible hoops to never touch anything 'public' in their research US-side) especially frustrating.

I didn't expect to find out that a bunch of Scotsmen may well have the first steps to that very leapfrogging process. The Nanog gene seems to reset the specialization paths of entire colonies of cells, giving them back their ability to change into multiple kinds of tissue. This may open up a lot of opportunities for therapies.

I'll bet that Nanog operates on histone tails, the bits on a chromosome which physically allow access to the DNA in the chromosome. If it does, I'd be interested in finding out how.

Can always count on the biosciences for a bit of interesting news :)

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