Creating universal stem cells using CRISPR

In an incredible milestone, scientists have for the first time created “universal” stem cells by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to produce pluripotent stem cells that can be transplanted into any patient without generating an immune system response.

While a great deal more work needs to be done to establish specific iPSC treatments that are safe and effective in humans, this important advance lays the foundation for these treatments to be much cheaper, and hopefully more effective. If these new cells prove safe and useful in humans, they would remove the costly and onerous process of personalizing future stem cell treatments to each individual patient.

“Our technique can benefit a wider range of people with production costs that are far lower than any individualized approach,” Deuse says. “We only need to manufacture our cells one time and we’re left with a product that can be applied universally.”

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