Method Produces Nerve Cells More Quickly
Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have developed a new way of quickly maturing embryonic stem cells into neural cells. Other research groups have worked out lab conditions that encourage embryonic stem cells to mature into various types of nerve cells, but those methods were slow and resulted in early stage nerve cells that were more likely to cause tumors when transplanted into mice. This new method could speed work by researchers who are trying to develop therapies for diseases of the nervous system. As an additional benefit, this work showed that some previously overlooked genes are worth studying as potential regulators of embryonic stem cell maturation.