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Mouse Cells Provide Missing Link

Here's an interesting development:

The discovery of a mouse embryonic stem cell startlingly similar to its human counterpart will likely speed progress toward the regeneration of healthy cells and organ tissue in people, two studies reported Wednesday.

The newly-found "epiblast" stem cells, taken from the inner-most layer of week-old rodent embryos, will provide a better model in testing potential therapies for human diseases and injuries, the researchers said.

"They are a missing link between mouse and human embryonic stem cells," Roger Pedersen, who headed a research team at Cambridge University, told AFP.

Developing treatments at the mouse scale is much, much quicker and more efficient that trying to do it at the human scale -- especially when we're just trying to figure out how things work and what the best way forward will be. Once that best way forward is found, there is still a huge challenge in making what works with mice work with people. This development may help in dealing with that significant challenge.

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