Jun 26, 2016

U.S. scientists transform lower-body cells into facial cartilage

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In new experiments using bird embryos, U.S. scientists have successfully converted cells of the lower-body region into facial tissue that makes cartilage.

The researchers of the California Institute of Technology discovered a “gene circuit”, composed of just three genes, that can alter the fate of cells destined for the lower bodies of birds, turning them instead into cells that produce cartilage and bones in the head.

Reporting in the latest issue of the journal Science, published on June 24, the researchers say the results could eventually lead to therapies for conditions where facial bone or cartilage is lost. For example, cartilage destroyed in the nose due to cancer is particularly hard to replace.

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