First ‘Haploid’ Human Stem Cell Could Change the Face of Medical Research

June 29, 2017

(Medical Research) – Most of the cells in our body are diploid, which means they carry two sets of chromosomes—one from each parent. Until now, scientists have only succeeded in creating haploid embryonic stem cells—which contain a single set of chromosomes—in non-human mammals such as mice, rats and monkeys. However, scientists have long sought to isolate and replicate these haploid ESCs in humans, which would allow them to work with one set of human chromosomes as opposed to a mixture from both parents. This milestone was finally reached when Ido Sagi, working as a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, led research that yielded the first successful isolation and maintenance of haploid embryonic stem cells in humans. Unlike in mice, these haploid stem cells were able to differentiate into many other cell types, such as brain, heart and pancreas, while retaining a single set of chromosomes.

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