An international team of researchers has discovered that human embryonic stem cell lines accumulate changes in their genetic material over time.
The findings do not limit the utility of the cells for some types of research or for some future clinical applications, the researchers say, but draw attention to the need to closely monitor stem cell lines for genetic changes and to study how these alterations affect the cells behavior. The researchers work is described in the Sept. 4 online edition of Nature Genetics.
"This is just the first step," says Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., one of the research teams leaders and professor and director of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins. "While this is a snapshot of the genomic changes that can happen, its certainly not everything going on. We still need comprehensive analyses of the changes and what they mean for the functions of embryonic stem cells."
Joanna Downer | EurekAlert!
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