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Human pluripotent stem cells for use in regenerative medicine or biomedical research come from two sources: embryonic stem cells, derived from fertilised egg cells discarded from IVF procedures; and induced pluripotent stem cells, where skin cells are 'reset' to their original, pluripotent form. They are seen as having promising therapeutic uses in regenerative medicine to treat devastating conditions that affect various organs and tissues, particularly those that have poor regenerative capacity, such as the heart, brain and pancreas.

However, some scientists have been concerned that the cells may not incorporate properly into the body and hence not proliferate or distribute themselves as intended, resulting in tumours. Today's study suggests that this will not be the case and that stem cells, when transplanted appropriately, are likely to be safe for use in regenerative medicine.

Professor Roger Pedersen from the Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Cambridge, commenting on co-author Victoria Mascetti's research findings, says: "Our study provides strong evidence to suggest that human stem cells will develop in a normal -- and importantly, safe -- way. This could be the news that the field of regenerative medicine has been waiting for."

Read More: Sciencedaily

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