New stem cell technique may aid medical treatments

NEW YORK (AP) — Researchers have found that a simple lab treatment can turn ordinary cells from mice into stem cells.

The surprising new study that's being described in the journal Nature hints at a possible new way to grow tissue for treating illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

Researchers in Boston and Japan exposed cells from spleens of newborn mice into a more acidic environment than they are used to. In lab tests, that turned them into stem cells -- with enough versatility to produce the tissues of a mouse embryo, for example.

Scientists hope to harness stem cells to replace defective tissue in a wide variety of diseases. By making stem cells from the patient, they can get around the problem of transplant rejection.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO NY829: This undated image made available by the journal Nature shows a mouse embryo formed with specially-treated cells from a newborn mouse that had been transformed into stem cells. Researchers in Boston and Japan say they created stem cells from various tissues of newborn mice. If the same technique works for humans, it may provide a new way to grow tissue for treating illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The report was published online on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 in the journal Nature. (AP Photo/RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Haruko Obokata) (10 Feb 2012)

<<APPHOTO NY829 (02/10/12)££

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.