CIRM grantees at the Scripps Research Institute, University of California, San Diego and Sanford-Burnham Research Institute have taken an intriguing step toward producing neural progenitor cells for research or therapies. The team, led by Sheng Ding who has recently moved to the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, started with mouse skin cells and converted them directly to an early stage of neural cell. The work was published in the April 26 online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have a post today on their excellent blog about work by CIRM grantee Alexey Turskikh, published in a recent issue of PLoS ONE. The teams work is another example of how embryonic stem cells can help scientists understand early events in development.