Successful Transformation of Blood Cells into Neurons

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blood Cells to Neurons

A study published in the journal Cell Reports, states that scientists from the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University have been successful in transforming blood cells into neurons. This has made it possible for researchers to directly convert adult human blood cells to both central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (rest of the body).

These nerves are responsible for human senses such as pain, temperature and itch perception. It will now be easier to understand how a person will react and respond to stimuli just by examining his blood. This will allow physicians to develop tailored medicines for patients. Currently, scientists are struggling to understand complex issues of human pain and are therefore unable to provide a suitable solution.

Researchers during the study were successful in incorporating a sense of feeling in the blood. The team led by Mick Bhatia now believes that through this approach they will be able to produce one million sensory neurons by using a patient’s blood sample, that make up the peripheral nerves of the body.

The brain perceives different senses such as pain or numbness sent by peripheral nerves using signals. Unlike blood and skin sample or tissue biopsy, scientists currently aren’t able to use patient’s neurons since they are very complex.

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