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Lab-grown, virus-free stem cells repair retinal tissue in mice

  The stem cells, derived from human umbilical cord-blood and coaxed into an embryonic-like state, were grown without the conventional use of viruses, which can mutate genes and initiate cancers, according to the scientists. Their safer method of growing the cells has drawn increased support among scientists, they say, and paves the way for a stem cell bank of cord-blood derived iPSCs to advance regenerative medicine research. In a report published Jan. 20 in the journal Circulation, stem cell biologist Elias Zambidis, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues describe laboratory experiments with these non-viral, human retinal iPSCs, created using the virus-free method Zambidis first reported in 2011.

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