MADRID, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have found a way to convert cord blood cells into neuron-like cells that could shed light on treatment of a wide range of neurological conditions, local media reported on Tuesday.
"This study shows for the first time the direct conversion of a pure population of human cord blood cells into cells of neuronal lineage by the forced expression of a single transcription factor," said Barcelona Center for Regenerative Medicine director Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte who led the research team.
This is the first time scientists are successful in a direct transformation of blood cells from the umbilical cord into neurons without rolling back the cells to their embryonic state.
This means that the cells resulting from such a process would be less likely to develop into tumors.
This discovery will shed light on further researches regarding the causes of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.