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Video: BioVisions, Modifying Cell Identity through Reprogramming

This 2D animation shows the differentiation process by which pluripotent cells in a blastocyst become increasingly specialized. Stem cells are self renewing. They can give rise to neurons, blood cells, etc... this process can be reproduced in culture. As the cells become more specialized they undergo epigenetic changes, reinforcing their identity through gene expression. We can listen about experiments in nuclear reprogramming and cloning, which prove that the differentiation process in reversible. This means that for a transplantation we could take skin cells from a patient and obtain pluripotent stem cells which can be converted in any type of cell, i.e. neurons. Students may discuss the implications of this therapy.

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