Reprogramming of ordinary somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) capable of generating any cell type is very much a going concern these days. The first cell therapies based on the transplantation of patient-matched cells derived from iPSCs are entering trials. More recently, however, researchers have been experimenting with the more radical idea of reprogramming cells in situ, in tissues. At first glance (and later consideration) this seems enormously risky, a fast path to cancer. Yet in mouse studies it appears, at least initially, to be quite beneficial. It will take a great deal more data to overcome skepticism about the cancer risk, but it seems there is a faction of researchers ready to work towards that goal.
Equally intriguing is the evidence for reprogramming to reset some of the markers of cell and tissue age, such as mitochondrial dysfunction. A complete catalog of what is fixed and what is not fixed by this process, and which of those items are more or less important than the others, has yet to be assembled. This is a comparatively recent development in the field, and, accordingly, comparatively little exploration has taken
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