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Gene targeting technique extended to stem cells

The technique that helped revolutionize modern biology by making the mouse a crucible of genetic manipulation and a window to human disease has been extended to human embryonic stem (ES) cells. In a study published today (Feb. 10) in the online editions of the journal Nature Biotechnology, a team of scientists from UW-Madison reports that it has developed methods for recombining segments of DNA within stem cells.

Human Neural Stem Cells Can Become Dopamine-Making Brain Cells

Biologists have shown for the first time in the laboratory that they can convert some adult human neural stem cells to brain cells that can produce dopamine, the brain chemical missing in Parkinson’s disease. If the researchers can better understand the process and harness this ability, the work may someday lead to new strategies in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.