Skin cells turned directly into the cells that insulate neurons
Researchers have succeeded in transforming skin cells directly into oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the cells that wrap nerve cells in the insulating myelin sheaths that help nerve signals propagate. The current research was done in mice and rats. If the approach also works with human cells, it could eventually lead to cell therapies for diseases like inherited leukodystrophies -- disorders of the brain's white matter -- and multiple sclerosis, as well as spinal cord injuries.
View full story