Nuclear transfer has seen a remarkable comeback in the past few years. Three groups have independently reported the derivation of stem cell lines by somatic cell nuclear transfer, from either adult, neonatal or fetal cells. Though the ability of human oocytes to reprogram somatic cells to stem cells had long been anticipated, success did not arrive on a straightforward path. Little was known about human oocyte biology, and nuclear transfer protocols developed in animals required key changes to become effective with human eggs. By overcoming these challenges, human nuclear transfer research has contributed to a greater understanding of oocyte biology, provided a point of reference for the comparison of induced pluripotent stem cells, and delivered a method for the generation of personalized stem cells with therapeutic potential.
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