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The future of regenerative medicine

Narrator:       This is Science Today. In the emerging field of regenerative medicine, stem cell "banks" could someday serve as a valuable resource. Bruce Conklin, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes, says when many people think of therapy from stem cells, they think about cells being used directly from their own body and turned into, for instance, their heart cells.

Conklin:        But in fact, that's not the kind of cell therapy which is most likely going to happen for large groups of people. It's much more likely that people will be able to get cell therapies from stem cells that are essentially off-the-shelf.

Narrator:       Conklin describes banks of cells, which have been carefully selected so there are no genes that would cause tumors and would have immune characteristics that make them more likely to be accepted by the body. Currently, Japan is taking the first steps towards the development of a universal donor cell bank.

Conklin:        It's going to be a bigger challenge, of course, for the rest of the world and the United States in particular, because we are much more genetically diverse.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.