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Jun 12, 2021

Calico Scientists Develop Safer Cellular Reprogramming

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

Calico has made some important discoveries about Yamanaka factors.


In a preprint paper, scientists from Calico, Google’s longevity research behemoth, suggest that contrary to our previous understanding, transient reprogramming of cells using Yamanaka factors involves suppressing cellular identity, which may open the door to carcinogenic mutations. They also propose a milder reprogramming method inspired by limb regeneration in amphibians [1].

Rejuvenation that can give you cancer

In 2006, a group of scientists led by Shinya Yamanaka developed a technique for reprogramming somatic cells back into pluripotent stem cells by transfusing them with a cocktail of transcription factors [2]. These four pluripotency-associated genes, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (OSKM), became known as the Yamanaka factors. This breakthrough made it possible to produce patient-specific stem cells from their own somatic cells.

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