At 2014-01-29, the newpapers reported that Dr. Obokata and her team of researchers discovered the STAP cell.
Today, I want to describe what I understand about this great discovery.
How to produce STAP cells
STAP is the acronym of stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency.

The life on earth including human being are created with amount of cells.
Your hair, skin, and nails are still growing every day even if you are old.
That means the cell in your hair, skin and nails are increasing more and more.
The one cell splits into two, and each cells splits into four.
This is how they are increasing.

The hair's cells can only create hair.
The nail's cells can only create nail.
They are specialists that they can only copy themselves.
In other words, they are not pluripotent.

The natutal cells are not pluripotent.
This is reasonable.
If your hair turned to be nail, you would have severe trouble.

But there is one exception.
The fertile egg is the pluripotent cell.
It would split into two, four, eight and so in the mother's body.
And it would be the whole body of life.
So the fertile egg is pluripotent that can be every parts of you --- hair, nail, bone, tooth etc.

So you have one question.
The cells of the grown up animals don't have the pluripotency.
But had the pluripotency been lost forever?
Or else, is it just disabled temporarily and you can turn it on again by some way?

If you can turn on the pluripotency again, then you can create the multi-purpose cells.
You can create hair out of nail, vice versa.
Maybe you can create heart or other important organs from your hair cell --- and you can cure much more diseases.

The scientists had already known that you can turn it on again.
There had been two methods to create the pluripotent cells.

The first one that scientist discovered was the ES cell.
It is created from egg that you collect from the women's body.
So you can hardly obtain the input.

The second one was the iPS cell.
Another Japanese scientist, Dr. Yamanaka had discovered it.
He won the Nobel prise with the discovery.
It is created from any cells like hair and skin.
But you got to use virus to "reprogram" the genes of the cell so it might be suffered the cancer.

The STAP cell is the third one.

In the past, Dr. Obokata discovered that cells that had been "selected" with the very thin glass tube had the pluripotency.
But she thought that it was not pluripotent originally, but the stress she gave to the cell with the glass tube had turned on the pluripotency.
So she thought if you give some stress to the cells, then the cells would be turned on their pluripotency.

So she put the cells of mouse into the liquid of mild acidity for 25 minutes.
The acidity is weaker then the orange juice.
Then the cells turned to be pluripotent!

This is quite much easier to create it than ES and iPS cells.

The idea was too simple so other scientists could hardly understand it.
So she and her team had made the great effort to collect the evidence, and finally, the report was accepted by the famous magazine.

My question is that, we have the weak acid every day --- orange juice, lemonade etc.
So why our cells don't have the pluripotency?
(Of cource, I don't want they do! :-D)