A concern raised some time ago is to determine whether the iPS cells produced from adult somatic cells have the specific characteristics of embryonic stem cells. If so, iPS cells could advantageously replace embryonic stem cells for experimental and clinical purposes, without the ethical difficulty inherent to the use of embryonic cells, since human embryos must be destroyed to obtain these.  Now, for the first time, skeletal muscle cells have been derived from iPS cells, and have shown electrophysiological properties similar to the cells that can be obtained from embryonic stem cells. This could certainly facilitate the use of these cells for medical purposes, thus avoiding the ethical difficulties of using the latter (PNAS 111; 8275-8280, 2014).



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