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  • Researchers in Dr. Helen Blau's laboratory have identified a protein that could be used to improve the efficiency of generating induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Using a novel heterokaryon system, the inventors discovered evidence that AID (activation induced cytidine deaminase) is required for active DNA demethylation and initiation of nuclear reprogramming. Further, AID combined with the usual cocktail of factors can increase the efficiency of reprogramming to iPS. This technology could be used to generate iPS cells for therapeutics and research, or to screen for agents that modulate demethylation.Ongoing Reseach The inventors continue to identify and validate the different co-factors and regulators involved in the AID-dependent DNA demethylation pathway.

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