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Finding a key to unlock blocked differentiation in microRNA-deficient embryonic stem cells

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The more than 200 different types of human cells have the same DNA but express different ensembles of genes. Each cell type was derived from embryonic stem cells, which are called pluripotent stem cells because they can differentiate to all those different cell fates. One very active area of biology is cells that mimic these fountainhead embryonic stem cells, cells that are called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs.
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