Yamanaka, Shinya

Yamanaka, Shinya,

1962–, Japanese physician and researcher, grad. Kobe Univ. (M.D., 1987), Osaka City Univ. (Ph.D., 1993). He was a professor at Osaka City Univ. (1996–99), the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (1999–2005), and the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto Univ. (2004–10). He is currently a faculty member at Kyoto Univ. and a professor at the Univ. of California, San Francisco. Yamanaka received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir John B. GurdonGurdon, Sir John Bertrand,
1933–, British biologist, Ph.D. Oxford, 1962. He has been a researcher at Cambridge since 1971. Gurdon was the joint recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be
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 for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to have the capacity to develop into every type of tissue found in an adult, a characteristic previously unique to embryonic stem cellsstem cells,
unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young embryo that
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. Yamanaka showed that embryonic-like stem cells can be created in the laboratory from adult cells of the same organism, a discovery that could enable researchers to avoid using human embryos as a source of stem cells for disease diagnosis and treatment.
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