London: Scientists claim to have turned skin cells directly into brain cells, thus completely bypassing the need for stem cells, probably for the first time in a study onlaboratory rodents. A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine says it`s "thrilled" at the potential medical uses though more tests are needed before the technique could be used on humans, `Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences` reported.Stem cells, which can become any other specialist type of cell from brain to bone, are thought to have huge promise in a range of treatments. Many trials are taking place, but there are ethical issues around embryonic stem cells.An alternative method has been to take skin cells and reprogramme them into "induced" stem cells. These could be made from a patient`s own cells and then turned into the celltype required, however, the process results in cancer-causing genes being activated.So, the scientists are looking at another option -- converting a person`s own skin cells into specialist cells, without creating "induced" stem cells, the `BBC` reported.
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