A breakthrough stem cell transplant has been carried out in Japan for a woman suffering from an incurable eye illness. Japanese doctors say it’s the first-ever operation when adult cells were used to repair the damaged organ.
The two-hour surgery was completely successful, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported. It came seven years after the Kyoto University professor Shinya Yamanaka created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) – multifunctional stem cells that can be generated directly from adult tissues. The research later won him the 2012 Nobel Prize.
In this case, the cells were made from the patient’s skin, which prevents controversy over the use of embryos.