Novocell, a San Diego-based stem cell engineering company, just announced that it’s going to partner up with Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University to work on stem cell treatments for type 1.
Why is this exciting? First, anything with stem cells is good news to me. Second, in case memory has faded, Yamanaka is the guy who figured out how to (I’m quoting the San Diego Business Journal here), “send human adult cells back to an embryonic state, laying the foundation for future research. The new cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells, are believed to have the same properties as human embryonic stem cells.”
It’s like all the good parts of embryonic stem cell research, without the ethical controversy. According to the article, “Novocell said it would work with Yamanaka to create human islet cells, or insulin-producing cells found in the pancreas, from induced pluripotent stem cells.” Huzzah!