"The addition of iPS cells will make the repository an even more valuable resource," said Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of NIGMS. "In addition to teaching important lessons about biology, these cells hold great promise for studying — and maybe one day treating — a wide range of diseases."
While not derived from embryos, iPS cells offer the same scientifically desirable properties as embryonic stem cells. They reproduce indefinitely and have a similar potential to become any of the more than 200 cell types in the body. The iPS cells will enable scientists to more readily examine normal cell development and study the effect of one or more disease genes in many different cell types. The iPS cells will be available to researchers in about six months.