Shinya Yamanaka to Create Bank of Stem Cell Lines from Japanese Umbilical Cord Blood

Last month, Shinya Yamanaka obtained approval from the Japanese health-ministry committee to create stem cell lines from fetal umbilical-cord blood (UCB) samples. This is a formative step in the iPS Cell Stock project, which aims to create cell lines for therapeutic use. With access to Japanese cord blood banks, Yamanaka and his team will search for donors that have two identical copies of genes that code for HLAs, a significant search that necessitates sifting through an estimated 64,000 samples to find 75 suitable. By 2020, Yamanaka plans to have an array of 75 iPS cell lines that genetically match 80% of the population.

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