I wrote last week about disturbing results from scientists who found that iPS cells (also known as induced pluripotent stem cells) are attacked and rejected by the immune system of mice – even when the cells were genetically identical to the recipient animals. The finding illustrated how once-promising iPS cells – beloved among some political groups because they can be generated directly from a patient without destroying a human embryo – could face a rockier path to the clinic than most people first envisioned.
Reporter Erika Check Hayden outlines these and other challenges in today’s Nature News:
No one doubts that iPS cells still have enormous potential, but the field’s initial optimism has cooled. “Right now, we are a long way from being sophisticated enough to take advantage of these cells’ potential,” says neuroscientist Arnold Kriegstein of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). “Things are still at a very early stage.”
Erika goes on to discuss five major challenges, gathering input from many leading researchers, including our own Renee Reijo Pera, PhD. Erika is a fantastic reporter and it’s always a treat to read her thoughtful articles. You can also follow her on Twitter at @Erika_Check. I, for one, am going to bookmark the article for future re-reading and reference. There’s a lot to think about there.
Previously: Setback for induced pluripotent stem cells