Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Stem cells

A sporadic super state

It seems that embryonic stem cells regularly pass through a transient state during which they can generate all the cell types of an animal, including those of the placenta. See Article p.57

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A 'totipotent-like' state in embryonic stem cells.


  1. Macfarlan, T. S. et al. Nature 487, 57–63 (2012).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Peaston, A. E. et al. Dev. Cell 7, 597–606 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Toyooka, Y., Shimosato, D., Murakami, K., Takahashi, K. & Niwa, H. Development 135, 909–918 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Miyanari, Y. & Torres-Padilla, M.-E. Nature 483, 470–473 (2012).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kalmar, T. et al. PLoS Biol. 7, e1000149 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hayashi, K., Chuva de Sousa Lopes, S. M., Tang, F. & Surani, M. A. Cell Stem Cell 3, 391–401 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Chambers, I. et al. Nature 450, 1230–1234 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Canham, M. A., Sharov, A. A., Ko, M. S. H. & Brickman, J. M. PLoS Biol. 8, e1000379 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Rossant, J. & Tam, P. P. L. Development 136, 701–713 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Zalzman, M. et al. Nature 464, 858–863 (2010).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Azim Surani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Surani, A., Tischler, J. A sporadic super state. Nature 487, 43–44 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing