Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

A special mouse: This rodent grew from an embryo made with induced pluripotent stem cells, which were derived from adult skin cells.

Mice from Skin Cells
Reprogrammed cells develop into live animals.

Source: “iPS cells produce viable mice through tetraploid complementation”
Qi Zhou et al.
461: 86-90

“iPS cells can support full-term development of tetraploid blastocyst-­complemented embryos”
Shaorong Gao et al.
Cell Stem Cell
5: 135-138

Results: Researchers in China grew viable mice from induced pluripotent stem cells, which are made by modifying adult cells. Some of the mice went on to produce a second generation of offspring.

Why it matters: The research proved that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, like embryonic stem cells, can differentiate into any cell type in the body. It suggests that iPS cells can be used for the same scientific purposes as embryonic stem cells–for example, to develop treatments that replace diseased cells.

Methods: Researchers transferred iPS cells generated from mouse fibroblasts (a type of skin cell) into specialized embryos that lacked the ability to develop on their own. Introducing the iPS cells triggered the embryos to begin developing. The embryos were then transplanted into surrogate mothers.

Next steps: Although the scientists’ achievement was impressive, only 1 to 3 percent of the embryos developed into live mice. In addition, many of those mice had physical abnormalities or died soon after birth. Scientists want to understand how the differences between iPS cells and embryonic stem cells might lead to these abnormalities. They also want to increase the rate of live births.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: Qi Zhou and Zhuo Lv

Tagged: Biomedicine

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me