‘Totipotent’ Stem Cells Capable of Forming Viable Embryo Created from Pluripotent Cells

January 23, 2017

(San Diego Union Tribune) – Stem cells with characteristics of totipotency — capable of creating all the tissue types needed to build and sustain an embryo — have been created in mice by a California-led research team. Researchers found that a microRNA called miR-34a prevents totipotency. Pluripotent mouse cells deficient in that microRNA acquired signs of totipotency. The feat makes it feasible to explore the molecular basis of totipotency, said the researchers in a study published Jan. 12 in the journal Science.