Agilent microarrays advance adult stem cell research

March 9, 2009: Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) will use its microarray technology to collaborate with a team from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences and Tongi University that has achieved new insight into how adult cells can be induced to act like embryonic stem cells.

Emryonic stem cells have the ability to form any type of tissue. President Barack Obama has lifted a longstanding ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

“The value of finding alternatives to embryonic stem cells would obviously be tremendous, and the ability to induce pluripotency in adult cells, discovered in 2006, is considered a breakthrough,” said Jian Li of Agilent Technologies Shanghai, one of the article’s coauthors. “Now we’re gaining new understanding into how this pluripotency was actually induced.”

In their findings, published in the journal Cell Research (Cell Research, 2008 18:1177-1189), the researchers observed a developmental signaling network of 16 signaling pathways, including nine that had not previously been assigned roles in maintaining or inducing pluripotency.

The study used Agilent chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip (ChIP-on-chip) and gene expression microarrays to study molecules known as “Yamanaka factors” and their roles in inducing pluripotency in mouse cells.

Agilent provided the microarray kits for this research under an Agilent grant issued in 2008.


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