The latest approach has facilitated scientists to create EPSCs (expanded potential stem cells) of human and pig cells. These stem cells have the characteristics of the first cells in the expanding embryo and can build up into any kind of cell. The study from the HKUMed’s (University of Hong Kong) LKS Faculty of Medicine, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute in Germany, and the WTSI (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) presents an incredible possibility for studying regenerative medicine and human development. The study was published in Nature Cell Biology.
The research shows that for the first time scientists have been capable of deriving stem cells from premature pig embryos. The domestic pigs have great perspective for biomedical research due to their anatomical and genetic similarities to humans, counting comparable organ sizes. Being capable of modifying pig stem cells genetically would also be beneficial for food production and animal health. The stem cells have the capability to advance into other cell types and current stem cell lines are extremely helpful for research into disease, development, and treatments. Nevertheless, presently available types of stem cell lines possess limitations and till now it has also not been likely to form embryonic stem cells from farm animals and pigs.
Recently, the WTSI was in news for its study that stated that a new cancer drug aims at accelerating the path to precision medicine. In one of the biggest studies of its type, scientists utilized CRISPR technology to interrupt every gene in more than 300 cancer prototypes from 30 cancer types and discovered thousands of important genes vital for cancer’s survival. The research team from the WTSI along with Open Targets then found a new system to prioritize and position 600 drug aims that show the most potential for development into treatments. The study was published in Nature.