A*Star creates stem cells from drop of blood

SINGAPORE - Scientists here have found a way to create human stem cells from a single drop of finger-pricked blood.

Previously, methods for generating these cells involved collecting adult cells from bone marrow, skin or large quantities of blood.

These were then genetically coaxed into reverting into stem cells, but such invasive collection methods deterred some potential donors.

Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) revealed their new technique Thursday. The team, from A*Star's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, had tried to find a way of reducing the amount of blood needed to generate the stem cells and created a method requiring just a single finger prick.

It could encourage a wider range of people to donate stem cells and collect their own blood samples, the scientists said, and lead to the establishment of comprehensive "biobanks" from a broad range of people.

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