The study demonstrated that cells within living organisms possess an unexpectedly high degree of plasticity
The prestigious journal Nature Medicine has taken a look at the year and chosen one of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre's (CNIO) studies as the most important in the stem cell category for its special December edition. The edition highlights eight categories, including, as well as stem cells, immunology, cardiovascular disease or neuroscience.
The study in question, led by Manuel Serrano, the director of CNIO's Molecular Oncology Programme, was published last September in the journal Nature with the title Reprogramming in vivo produces teratomas and iPSCs with totipotency features (https://www.cnio.es/es/news/docs/manuel-serrano-nature-11sep13-es.pdf).
The most important milestone achieved by the research was demostrating that cells from a variety of tissues, such as that of intestine, stomach, kidney or pancreas, can be turned into embryonic stem cells. To do so, CNIO researchers used the technique developed by the scientist Shinya Yamanaka (2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine) to obtain embryonic stem cells in vitro.
"Being able to apply this technique directly to tissues from living organisms was a big surprise, as it was thought in vivo conditions would not allow for this extent of cellular plasticity", says Serrano.