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Prospects and Obstacles affecting Cell Replacement in Humans

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Nigel Bennee.

The early results of nuclear transplantation in animals will be described.  These show that nearly all cells have a complete genome and therefore that, in principle, the nucleus of one kind of specialized cell can be used to generate all other kinds of cells.  Over time, somatic cell nuclear transfer was achieved in mammals and most recently in humans.   Induced pluripotency can now be achieved by incubating somatic cells in a selection of transcription factors.  This method has the great advantage of making nuclear reprogramming possible without the use of eggs, but it is very inefficient and can lead to defects in reprogrammed cells as they are grown in the laboratory.  This leads to the desire to understand the mechanism of nuclear reprogramming by eggs, which have a natural ability toreprogram the highly specialized sperm cell. Current knowledge about the mechanism of reprogramming by eggs will be discussed.

The talk will discuss the current level of success in cell replacement in humans.  It will also discuss the ethical and legal constraints in bringing this new technology into general use for patients.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) series.

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