A bloody breakthrough

Stem cell researchers in Japan tout ‘major scientific discovery’

Stem cell scientists in Japan are claiming they have made a “major scientific discovery” in the field.

Researchers have long explored the potential use of stem cells in regenerating human tissue; currently, trials are exploring whether they can effectively heal the brain, eye and heart, according to BBC Health News. But the latest development, published in the journal Nature, could make the process cheaper, faster and safer.

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology found that dipping the blood cells of mice in acid quickly turned them into stem cells, and are exploring whether the same results can be produced with human blood.

If researchers can show that the process works in humans, then “the age of personalized medicine would have finally arrived,” said Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London.