Determining a stem cell's fate: Biologists scour mouse genome for genes and markers that lead to T cells
What happens to a stem cell at the molecular level that causes it to become one type of cell rather than another? At what point is it committed to that cell fate, and how does it become committed? The answers to these questions have been largely unknown. But now, in studies that mark a major step forward in our understanding of stem cells' fates, a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has traced the stepwise developmental process that ensures certain stem cells will become T cellscells of the immune system that help destroy invading pathogens.
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