Simple Gene Circuits Hint at How Stem Cells Find New Identities
How do body cells that are genetically identical become some of the many different kinds of cells found in complex organisms, like humans? A system designed by Xiao Wang, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering, helps make a step forward in understanding the ways nature tells cells how to differentiate into other kinds of cells — a process that helps generate the variety we find in biology and nature. The knowledge could help researchers learn how to control cells’ growth and change. Scientists and engineers see the possibility of introducing cells into patients that are engineered to develop in ways that are useful in diagnosing or treating diseases.