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Nobel awarded for stem cell, early cloning work

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

NEW YORK – Two scientists from different generations won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for the groundbreaking discovery that cells in the body can be reprogrammed into completely different kinds, work that reflects the mechanism behind cloning and offers an alternative to using embryonic stem cells.

The work of British researcher John Gurdon and Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka – who was born the year Gurdon made his discovery – holds hope for treating diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes by growing customized tissue for transplant.

And it has spurred a new generation of laboratory studies into other illnesses, including schizophrenia, which may lead to new treatments.

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