Japanese scientist operates on lean budget

Shinya Yamanaka shook the stem cell research field with his work taking adult skin cells and turning them into embryonic stem cells. The key was identifying 24 genes that were the odds-on favorite for reprogramming the cell and then narrowing it to four that worked. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Yamanaka discusses how he operates a barebones lab on a million dollars a year, marveling at the billions of dollars that are spent in the U.S. Researchers in Japan, he says, are lone wolves. And he notes that ESC research is widely understood in the U.S., but barely registers on the Japanese psyche.

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