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Transforming Adult Cells into Stem Cells

Mimicking human disease in a dish.

James Thomson and Junying Yu (above) first transformed adult cells into stem cells called iPS cells in 2007.
Yu, now at Cellular Dynamics, is developing more efficient ways of making the cells, which are the starting ingredient used to make cardiac muscle cells.
A precise combination of chemicals, agitation, and temperature transforms the iPS cells into heart cells (above), which fall to the bottom of the flask when it stops moving (next image).
iPS cells are transformed into heart cells and fall to the bottom of the flask when it stops moving.
Colonies of heart cells beat in sync when grown on a dish.
Five weeks after iPS cells have been thawed, vials of muscle cells are ready to be shipped to customers.

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