iPS stands for Induced Pluripotential Stem Cells and they were transplanted for the first time into a patient’s eye in Japan, to help reverse Macular Degeneration.
These cells are created from mature cells that are coaxed into reverting to stem cells (originating cells) that can then be transformed into any type of tissue that exists. iPS provides an alternative to embryonic stem cells that are so controversial, and helps to avoid the ethical concerns involved with the obtaining of such tissues.
The result of nearly a decade of research when the 2006 Nobel Prize was awarded for creating iPS, these cells are at the center of the development of ”regenerative medicine” which hopes to reverse aging or defer the aging process, by using these cells to replace damaged tissues from disease or aging.
Although this first attempt to help restore vision is not likely to be wildly successful, the initiation of this process is the first step in another development of the current biological revolution that is just beginning.
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