An international team of scientists has characterized plus made available 711 induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) outlines from 301 healthy individuals, according to a paper released today (May 10) in Nature . The researchers also investigated sources of variability within these types of banked cell lines, a common characteristic of existing iPSC lines that can pose challenges for researchers.  

“ Many other efforts to create stem cells concentrate on rare diseases. In our study, stem cells have been manufactured from hundreds of healthy volunteers to study common genetic variation, ” said Fiona Watt, lead author and Director from the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in King’s College London, in a press release.  

Because the researchers derived more than one cell line from person participants, they were able to demonstrate that “ up to fouthy-six percent of the differences we saw in iPS tissue were due to differences between individuals, ” Watt stated, indicating that genetic differences between people drives variation within the cells’ phenotypes.  

“ These information will allow researchers to put disease variations in context along with healthy people, ” she added.

Find “ Banking on iPSCs”

This effort was part of the Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Effort, which is described by the authors in the study as “ a large, high-quality, open-access reference panel of human iPSC lines”

“ This resource is a moving stone for researchers to make better cell models of numerous diseases, because they can study disease risk in many cellular types, including those that are normally inaccessible, ” said Daniel Gaffney, a lead author and a geneticist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.