Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scientist uses reprogrammed cells to study Alzheimer’s

Madison - Ten months after scientists in Madison and Japan reprogrammed human skin cells back to an embryonic state, Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California-San Diego is collecting skin samples from patients with Alzheimer's disease and hoping the new technique will offer a unique window into the disease.

Previously, scientists often had to rely on animal models to research a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

“We have worn out what we can do with animal models,” Goldstein told the World Stem Cell Summit on Monday.

Goldstein’s work is part of a surge of stem cell research in the past year. But the new work has been accompanied by mounting expectations almost 10 years after James Thomson isolated the first human embryonic stem cells.

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