If we wanted to add genetically modified cells
to a person's (or mouse) brain we would take skin
cells (fibroblasts) from the person and turn those
cells into pluripotent stem cells, aka Induced
Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS cells). IPS cells
have the potential to turn into any cell type,
including neurons, and because they are your own
cells then they would not cause an immune reaction
and potential rejection. The IPS cells would be
grown in a dish and the genetic modification would
be performed using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
system. If we wanted the modified IPS cells to
turn into neurons we would push them to go from
stem cells to neurons for a few days in the dish.
After a few days the cells would start to look
like neurons and then those neuron-like cells
would be put in a needle to inject it into the
area of the brain that we want the new cells to be
This type of experiment has been performed with
mice and it has been shown that human IPS neurons
can grow and become a part of the mouse brain!
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