Pathobiology in Focus

Laboratory Investigation (2009) 89, 259–262; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2008.162; published online 19 January 2009

Human embryonic stem cells: 10 years on

Paul J Gokhale1 and Peter W Andrews1

1Department of Biomedical Science, Centre for Stem Cell Biology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Correspondence: Dr PW Andrews, PhD, Department of Biomedical Science, Centre for Stem Cell Biology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. E-mail: p.w.andrews@sheffield.ac.uk

Received 29 October 2008; Revised 13 November 2008; Accepted 13 November 2008; Published online 19 January 2009.

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Abstract

Substantial advances in the biology of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, and the technology for working with them, have been made over the past 10 years. Regulatory frameworks for their study are well developed, although some countries remain particularly restrictive. Markers and criteria for characterising human ES cells are also generally agreed, and protocols for promoting their differentiation are being established, providing the groundwork for the development of applications over the next 10 years. The recent appearance of technology to convert somatic cells to ‘induced Pluripotent Stem Cells’ closely resembling ES cells will certainly speed up these developments.

Keywords:

embryonic stem cells, pluripotent cells

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