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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Sep 23;12(10):680-6. doi: 10.1038/nrm3190.

Discovering pluripotency: 30 years of mouse embryonic stem cells.

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Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, Wales, CF10 3XQ, UK.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells isolated from an early embryo and grown as a cell line in tissue culture. Their discovery came from the conjunction of studies in human pathology, mouse genetics, early mouse embryo development, cell surface immunology and tissue culture. ES cells provided a crucial tool for manipulating mouse embryos to study mouse genetics, development and physiology. They have not only revolutionized experimental mammalian genetics but, with the advent of equivalent human ES cells, have now opened new vistas for regenerative medicine.

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