16 March 2016
Comments on new prospective in Stem Cell Therapy
Professor Henrik Semb, DanStem’s executive director, in a commentary on a paper published in Nature Genetics: A predictive computational framework for direct reprogramming between human cell types
Scientists at the University of Bristol, UK have tried to create a computer-based system, which in theory would save researchers years of work in the lab. The new computer-based system (Mogrify) is aiming to predict how any cell type can be converted into a different cell type, for example, how a skin cell may be a neuronal cell. Their results were published in Nature Genetics 48, 331–335 (2016) A predictive computational framework for direct reprogramming between human cell types
Professor Semb is saying that the new results are interesting in terms of how the technique of reprogramming of cells can be made wider and usable, but it should not characterize the work as a breakthrough in its direct applications in stem cell therapy. The usefulness of the system in its current form is uncertain, he says.
Henrik Semb believes that there is still a long way to go before patients can benefit from stem cell research, but acknowledges that Mogrify can help the process.
"Although it will take time to find new treatments, perhaps up to 10-15 years, there is hope among scientists that this research continues to make progress. The new tool here adds a piece to the puzzle by making cellular reprogramming usable,"says Henrik Semb.