Shinya Yamanaka, one of Japan's leading stem cell scientists, says he believes he is just months away from developing a prototype stem cell that could substitute for an embryonic stem cell in research. In two or three years, he adds in an interview with The Times of London, stem cells will probably be available which are indistinguishable from an embryonic stem cell, effectively eliminating the need to use embryonic stem cells for research. Yamanaka is credited with a major breakthrough in the field for his work in manipulating the skin cells of mice back to an embryonic stage. If he successfully completes his work, the new procedure would eliminate the controversy over the use of ESCs. But Yamanaka also insists that ESC research should continue for now in the hopes of saving lives, rather than wait to see if his work is ultimately successful.
- read the article from The Times
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