Stem Cells Created by Adding Strong Acidic Stress, Studies Find

Ordinary cells taken out from newborn mice turned into potent stem cells by receiving acidic stress, two studies published in the journal Nature found.

The new technique reprograms cells without adding genes and may generate stem cells quicker than the conventional method, according to a statement from Japan’s Riken Center for Development Biology, where researchers who led the studies are based.

Japanese research and biotechnology companies surged in Tokyo trading after the study was released. Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories Ltd. (2395), which provides pre-clinical tests to drugmakers, rose as much as 23 percent and Cellseed Inc. (7776) gained as much as 24 percent.

Cosmo Bio Co. (3386), which sells research reagents and instruments, surged as much as 17 percent. Japan Tissue Engineering Co., which makes cultured cartilage and skin tissue, soared as much as 14 percent.

The new technique was developed by researchers including Riken, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In July, Japan’s Health Ministry gave the go-ahead for the world’s first clinical trial on humans with stem cells made using the Nobel Prize-winning technique of Shinya Yamanaka.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at

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