Even after being frozen for 18 years, human embryos can be thawed, grown in the laboratory, and successfully induced to produce human embryonic stem (ES) cells, which represent a valuable resource for drug screening and medical research. Prolonged embryonic cryopreservation as an alternative source of ES cells is the focus of an article in BioResearch Open Access, a new bimonthly peer-reviewed open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at the BioResearch Open Access website.*
Kamthorn Pruksananonda and coauthors from Chulalongkorn University and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, demonstrated that ES cells derived from frozen embryos have a similar ability to differentiate into multiple cell types – a characteristic known as pluripotency – as do ES cells derived from fresh embryos. They present their findings in the article “Eighteen-Year Cryopreservation Does Not Negatively Affect the Pluripotency of Human Embryos: Evidence from Embryonic Stem Cell Derivation.” **
“The importance of this study is that it identifies an alternative source for generating new embryonic stem lines, using embryos that have been in long-term storage,” says Editor-in-Chief Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News