A Japanese scientist who created the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from ordinary skin cells has won one of this year’s Kyoto Prizes and will receive a $550,000 prize. Shinya Yamanaka, 47, developed a way to reprogram skin cells so that they can be developed into all kinds of tissue, such as that of the heart or brain. This has vast potential to speed medical research, creating genetically matched cells for use in damaged parts of the body. He developed the method as an alternative to using embryonic stem cells, an approach that required embryos to be destroyed, raising complicated ethical questions that held back research.
Read the rest of the story: Japanese scientist wins Kyoto Prize for stem cell research without using embryos