Scientists have become closer to discovering the reasons for embryonic stem cells' "immortality". One gene in mice was identified to get advances in cancer and aging research.
It was published online on March 24 by journal Nature that such finding could have a serious impact on research in regenerative medicine and biology of stem cells and cancer. As it is known embryonic stem cells can develop into any type of cell in the body. At the same time, they can produce some generations of new, fully operational embryonic stem cells (daughter cells). Researchers of the the U.S. National Institute on Aging noted in a news release that embryonic stem cells in mice express a unique Zscan4 gene. This unique Zscan4 gene enables stem cells to produce vigorous daughter cells continuously. Also this gene isn't turned on every time an embryonic stem cell replicates.
According to the research study, only about 5 percent of embryonic stem cells will have the gene activated at any one point.