Tag Animal research
Developing a new drug takes enormous amounts of time, money and skill, but the bar is even higher for a promising stem-cell therapy. Many types of cells derived from these ultra-flexible parent cells are moving toward the market, but the very quality that makes stem cells so valuable also makes them a difficult source of therapeutics.
Many scientists use animals to model human diseases. Mice can be obese or display symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Rats get Alzheimer's and diabetes. But animal models are seldom perfect, and so scientists are looking at a relatively new type of stem cell, called the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS cell), that can be grown into specialized cells that become useful models for human disease.