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Stem Cell Rep:Scientists have successfully turned embryonic stem cells into thyroid cells

Published recently, an international journal of Stem Cell Reports on the study, from Boston university school of medicine researchers studying, the successful use of genetic modification of embryonic Stem cells to regenerate the thyroid cells, the researchers also use similar steps based on human Stem cells for the first time to better simulate the thyroid disease to better understand the reason of disease of thyroid disease, provide some train of thought did not develop new therapies.

In the United States, thyroid problems affect about 10 percent of the population. Thyroid problems, including graves' disease and hashimoto's disease, can cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, goiters or cancer.

Researchers cultured mouse embryonic stem cells in the laboratory for engineering operation to be able to express a kind of special genes: Nkx2-1, the gene for thyroid development is very important, then when the researchers temporarily opening/closing Nkx2-1 gene, they guide the embryonic stem cells by multiple steps, it was found that within a very narrow time, switching on the expression of Nkx2-1 will be most of embryonic stem cells into thyroid cells.

Dr Ikonomou points out that the new method could lead to a proliferation of thyroid cells, a type of target cell, but that the technology could also be used to investigate other clinically relevant cell types, such as lung cells, insulin-producing cells and kidney cells. The researchers hope this study will help develop therapeutic or stem cell-based engineering techniques to improve the quality of life and health of patients with thyroid and other diseases.
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