Pluripotent stem cells are the key to many of the most promising developments in regenerative medicine. Why is that? Because these are the cells (including the well known and controversial embronic stem cells) that can develop into just about any kind of cell in the human body. (i.e. the same stem cells that are used to treat a burn victim can also be used to help prevent a heart attack)
Until now, the main side effect in using these pluripotent stem cells is the chance that the cells won’t change into the appropriate type of cell needed during therapy. These unchanged stem cells are called “undifferentiated,” and can be lethal; possibly even turning into a dangerous tumor called a teratoma.
Recently, scientists at Stanford have developed an antibody to directly identify and destroy these undifferentiated stem cells, potentially eliminating this dangerous side effect… read full article