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What are Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cells? 

Rather than using an embryo or fertilised egg, any adult cell manipulated in the lab to behave like embryonic stem cells are called iPS cells. 

Differences between Embryonic Stem Cells, Adult Stem Cells and iPS Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs)

  • Derived frm the blastocyst of a 5 day-old embryo

  • Are pluripotent, i.e., they can differentiate into almost any cell type in the body (primary-like cells)

  • Can renew themselves indefinitely

Adult Stem Cells (MSCs, NSCs, ADSCs)

  • Isolated from adult tissues, organs or blood, cord blood, etc.

  • Are multipotent, i.e., can give rise to a number of related cell types

  • Can renew themselves a number of times but not indefinitely

iPS cells

  • Generated from reprogrammed somatic cells

  • Similar or equivalent to ESCs, i.e., pluripotent and the ability to renew themselves indefinitely

Uses of iPS Cells 

  • Studying disease models in vitro

  • Drug screening

  • Toxicology testing of new drugs

  • Generating patient specific and disease specific pluripotent stem cells

  • Allow unprecedented access to all stages of human biology

  • Studying development and function of human tissue

  • Regenerative medicine

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