Bioanalytic12.10.2012

Instruments to make you win the Nobel Prize

We congratulate Professor Dr. Shinya Yamanaka for winning this year's Nobel Prize Award in Medicine: "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".

We are proud that in his laboratory -  the ips Cell Laboratory, Kyoto, Japan - various Berthold luminometers are used, e.g. the Centro microplate luminometer.

His research concerned embryonal stem cells, i.e. pluripotent stem cells that are isolated from the embryo and cultured in the laboratory. Such stem cells were initially isolated from mice and Yamanaka tried to find the genes that kept them immature. When several of these genes had been identified, he tested whether any of them could reprogram mature cells to become pluripotent stem cells.

Yamanaka and his co-workers introduced these genes, in different combinations, into mature cells from connective tissue, fibroblasts, and examined the results under the microscope. They finally found a combination that worked, and the recipe was surprisingly simple. By introducing four genes together, they could reprogram their fibroblasts into immature stem cells! 

The resulting induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) could develop into mature cell types such as fibroblasts, nerve cells and gut cells. The discovery that intact, mature cells could be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells was published in 2006 and was immediately considered a major breakthrough (source: www.nobelprize.org)