i’m not exactly knowledgeable when it comes to stem cell research*, but it seems to me that this could be pretty important…
Ordinary skin cells from the face of a 36-year-old woman and the foreskin of a newborn were turned into stem cells and may have the power to become any cell in the body, according to reports in the journals Science and Cell.
The technique by U.S. and Japanese researchers may shift the ethics debate by ending use of embryos and leapfrog studies by hundreds of companies, including Geron Corp. and Advanced Cell Technology Inc. It may allow human tissue to be more easily created and help drugmakers test how compounds interact with diseased cells, said Ian Wilmut, who cloned Dolly the sheep.
The scientific teams each inserted four genes into the skin cells, switching on a process that converted them into a form equivalent to embryonic stem cells. The cells were then changed into heart, brain, muscle, fat and cartilage cells by one team using proven methods for growing tissue from embryonic cells.
full article found here
*or anything else, for that matter