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Penn Researchers Replace Organ in Adult Mice Using "Single-Parent" Stem Cells From Sperm or Egg Alone

PHILADELPHIA -- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have derived uniparental embryonic stem cells - created from a single donor's eggs or two sperm - and, for the first time, successfully used them to repopulate a damaged organ with healthy cells in adult mice. Their findings demonstrate that single-parent stem cells can proliferate normally in an adult organ and could provide a less controversial alternative to the therapeutic cloning of embryonic stem cells.

"Creating uniparental embryonic stem cells is actually much more efficient than generating embryonic stem cells by cloning," said K. John McLaughlin, an assistant professor in Penn's Department of Animal Biology and researcher at the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research at Penn's New Bolton Center. "The fact that we are not destroying a viable embryo in the process also avoids certain ethical issues that currently surround embryonic stem cell science."

McLaughlin and his colleagues report their findings in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Genes & Development.

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