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Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington’s disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types. The researchers demonstrated that these converted cells survived at least six months after injection into the brains of mice and behaved similarly to native cells in the brain.

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