Two years after the biologists who developed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells won the Nobel Prize, the new generation stem cells have been cleared for experimental procedures in humans. RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe, Japan has given the go-ahead to ophthalmologist Masayo Takahashi to lead the first attempted medical use of iPS in humans. She will use the cells to treat a Japanese man suffering from age-related macular degeneration, a debilitating eye disease. iPS cells have the potential to be transformed into any kind of cell in the body and are tailored to each person’s genetic code, which means they could one day be used to treat a variety of diseases.
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