The notion of cell identity or phenotype has undergone a seismic shift over the past decade.Until then, cell biologists largely regarded terminally differentiated somatic (i. e. non-germline) cells as deriving from more plastic progenitors via an essentially one-way route. Only recently was the question of reversibility of cell differentiation, a by-product of the inherent stochasticity and plasticity of cells, raised by researchers such as Roeder and Loeffler .The explosion of research into stem cells over the past decade in particular has vindicated these early suggestions of mutability and plasticity of cell phenotypes. A recently as 2006, Yamanaka announced the startling discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to pluripotency by a cocktail of transcription factors . Subsequent research has shown that it may be possible to reprogram somatic cells of one type into those of a different type, such as reprogramming skin epithelial cells to neural cells. The idea that a cell’s identity is better described as a probabilistic property than a fixed one is now becoming more widely accepted.
|Title of host publication||Molecular Engineering and Control|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|