Bacteria reprogram cells
January 18, 2013 |
I’m fascinated by stem cells and how we could use them for future medical treatments.
Researchers have now discovered that leprosy bacteria also use them to their advantage – by reprogramming adult cells, turning them back into stem cells.
The bacteria trigger the transforming ability of Schwann cells and change them into stem cells, which can move freely around the body. They then piggyback on these cells to spread infection.
In future bacteria could be used in the lab to change adult cells to stem cells, possibly leading to new regenerative treatments for diseases such as diabetes.
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