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Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Oct 9;3(4):382-8. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2008.09.015.

Extreme makeover: converting one cell into another.

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  • 1Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, HHMI, Harvard University, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Cells of adult mammals can be converted (reprogrammed) to new cells. In one approach, adult cells are converted to pluripotent stem cells, followed by differentiation to regenerate new cell types. Alternatively, adult cells may be directly converted into other mature cells or progenitors. We discuss and compare these two approaches with particular emphasis on the latter and its relevance for regenerative medicine.

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