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Stem cell banks might one day be used to meet the tissue-transplant needs of most of the population. Just as there are universal blood donors, cells from universal donors could be used to develop induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) or adult stem cells for use in repairing the nervous system, the heart or other organs.
Off-the-shelf cell lines could be made available for recipients in a timely way, with matching likely to lower risk of transplant rejection. UCSF stem cell scientist Bruce Conklin, MD, discusses.