Turning urine into brain cells. A new method for generating brain cells from urine…

Generation of integration-free neural progenitor cells from cells in human urine. Human neural stem cells hold great promise for research and therapy in neural disease. We describe the generation of integration-free and expandable human neural progenitor cells (NPCs). We combined an episomal system to deliver reprogramming factors with a chemically defined culture medium to reprogram epithelial-like cells from human urine into NPCs (hUiNPCs). These transgene-free hUiNPCs can self-renew and can differentiate into multiple functional neuronal subtypes and glial cells in vitro. Although functional in vivo analysis is still needed, we report that the cells survive and differentiate upon transplant into newborn rat brain. Authors: Lihui Wang, Linli Wang, Wenhao Huang, Huanxing Su,

Yanting Xue, Zhenghui Su, Baojian Liao, Haitao Wang, Xichen Bao, Dajiang Qin, Jufang He, Wutian Wu, Kwok Fai So, Guangjin Pan & Duanqing Pei. – Dr. Duanqing Pei is a research scientist who specializes in regenerative medicine. Originally from a small agricultural college in southern China, Dr. Pei went on to complete his graduate work at and obtained his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He then became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan before becoming a faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1996. He joined the medical faculty at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in 2002 and became the head of the pharmacology department soon after. In 2004, Dr. Pei moved to the newly formed Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health and took on the position of Deputy Director General. In the spring of 2009, he was promoted to Director General.Dr. Pei’s most notable work is the discovery of vitamin C’s effect on the induction of pluripotent stem cells by around 100–1000 fold.He is currently the director of the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health. –  Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is a leading academic institution and comprehensive research and development center in natural science, technological science and high-tech innovation in China. It was founded in Beijing on 1st November 1949 on the basis of the former Academia Sinica (Central Academy of Sciences) and Peiping Academy of Sciences. Sources: Nature Methods, Nature Publishing Group & Chinese Academy of Sciences

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