Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/11366
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Type: Journal article
Title: Properties and uses of embryonic stem cells: prospects for application to human biology and gene therapy
Author: Rathjen, Peter David
Lake, J.
Whyatt, L. M.
Bettess, Michael David
Rathjen, J.
Citation: Reproduction Fertility and Development, 1998; 10 (1):31-48
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 1031-3613
School/Discipline: School of Molecular and Biomedical Science : Biochemistry
Statement of
Responsibility: 
P. D. Rathjen, J. Lake, L. M. Whyatt, M. D. Bettess and J. Rathjen
Abstract: Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells derived from the early mouse embryo that can be propagated stably in the undifferentiated state in vitro. They retain the ability to differentiate into all cell types found in an embryonic and adult mouse in vivo, and can be induced to differentiate into many cell types in vitro. Exploitation of ES cell technology for the creation of mice bearing predetermined genetic alterations has received widespread attention because of the sophistication that it brings to the study of gene function in mammals. Analysis of cell differentiation in vitro has also been of value, leading to the identification of novel bioactive factors and the elucidation of cell specification mechanisms. In this paper, we summarise the features of pluripotent cell lines and their applications, foreshadowing the impact that these systems may have on human biology. While the isolation of definitive human pluripotent cell lines has not yet been achieved, potential applications for these cells in the study of human biology, particularly cell specification, can be envisaged. Of particular interest is the possibility that human embryonic stem cells with properties similar to mouse embryonic stem cells might provide a generic system for gene therapy.
Description: Copyright © CSIRO 1998
DOI: 10.1071/R98041
Appears in Collections:Biochemistry publications

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