Breakthrough method efficiently allows any cell put into an 'acid bath' to return to embryonic state

01/29/2014 - 00:00

David Cryanoski

In 2006, Japanese researchers reported a technique for creating cells that have the embryonic ability to turn into almost any cell type in the mammalian body — the now-famous induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In papers published this week in Nature (2, 3), another Japanese team says that it has come up with a surprisingly simple method — exposure to stress, including a low pH — that can make cells that are even more malleable than iPS cells, and do it faster and more efficiently.