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Discovery of on-off switch for key stem cell gene may propel advances in regenerative medicine

Consider the between an and a . The gets the passengers to their destination, but the decides when the plane can take off and when it must wait. The same relationship plays out at the cellular level in animals, including humans. A region of an animal’s genome – the controller – directs when a particular gene – the pilot – can perform its prescribed function.

[Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells with and without Sox2 Control Region]
These are images of mouse which grow in a round colony of cells (A) and express Sox2 (B), shown in red. Sox2 control region-deleted cells have lost the typical appearance of (C) and do not express Sox2 (D). The DNA is shown in blue in B and D.
Credit: Jennifer Mitchell/University of Toronto


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University of Toronto