Reprogramming Cells with RNA

Dr. Derrick Rossi who has been named on the Time’s 2010 list of People Who Mattered has developed a method that allows manipulation of adults cells into embryonic-like stem cells which eliminates the need for stem cells derived from human embryonic tissue. In addition, Dr. Rossi was able to avoid the risk of cancer that has been shown to be problematic in conventional stem cell manipulation techniques using DNA. He used synthesized RNA molecules rather than DNA.

Dr. Rossi’s method enables the scientists to turn adult stem cells into embryonic-like stem cells which have the ability to become any cell in the body, and even tissue and organs. The new method has thrilled the scientific community because embryonic-like stem cells are believed to have a major potential in treatment of many chronic diseases and life-threatening conditions. Dr. Rossi’s procedure allows manipulation of the patient’s own cells to obtain stem cells which can be then used to be turned into tissue that has been either lost or damaged due to disease or injury. The methods that have been used so far for reprogramming stem cells have been linked to increased risk of cancer which made them unsuitable for clinical uses. Dr. Rossi’s method also eliminates the risk of the body rejecting the introduced stem cells as it uses the patient’s own cells.

The procedure that has been developed by Dr. Rossi bases on manipulation of adult cells into embryonic-like stem cells by adding synthetic RNA molecules as well as some chemicals that prevent an immune attack when the RNA molecules are added to the cell. The new cell manipulation method that enables creation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells requires further studies and trials to determine whether they can be used in medicine though Dr. Rossi has already founded a company that will commercialize his method.