Without the ‘Notch’ signal, cells swap jobs

By breaking a biological signalling system in the cells of embryos, scientists have discovered a way to change a cell’s destiny.

The “Notch” signalling system causes cells to commit to a particular and life-long function, such as a heart cell. When scientists blocked the signal by genetic manipulation, they found the cell could change to another type of cell: from a heart to a brain cell.

By unlocking a cell’s normal destiny, it may be possible to change it into a different type of cell that could be used to grow a new organ for a patient.

Read more at UC Santa Barbara