Genetic changes observed in stem cells

Genetic changes, similar to those acquired in human cancers, have been observed occurring in the stem cells in the latest study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne.

In a study examining 127 human embryonic stem cell lines and 11 induced pluripotent stem cell lines (both of which can be converted to any cell type in the body and are subsequently of interest to researchers), scientists observed acquired amplifications of a specific region in chromosome 20, in around 20% of the cell lines.

Scientists are concerned the findings have negative implications for the potential therapeutic applications of stem cells when used over time, and that the changes might result in mutations.

Read more at University of Melbourne