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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Jun;2(6):a007674. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a007674.

Generating β cells from stem cells-the story so far.

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  • 1Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Despite intensive research, a treatment for diabetic patients that completely restores normoglycemia for an indefinite period of time remains elusive. Although islet transplantation temporarily confers normoglycemia to patients, the lack of a renewable source of insulin-producing β cells hampers the use of this treatment option. Although significant hurdles remain, recent advances in stem cell biology indicate that generation of fully matured β cells from uncommitted progenitor cells, including human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells derived from somatic cell populations, is becoming an achievable goal.

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