Washington, Sept. 16 -- : An international collaboration involving Monash University and Duke-NUS researchers have made an unexpected world-first stem cell discovery that may lead to new treatments for placenta complications during pregnancy.

While it is widely known that adult skin cells can be reprogrammed into cells similar to human embryonic stem cells that can then be used to develop tissue from human organs -- known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) -- the same process could not create placenta tissue.

iPSCs opened up the potential for personalised cell therapies and new opportunities for regenerative medicine, safe drug testing, and toxicity assessments, however little was known about exactly how they were made.

An interna...