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Expanding the neuronal reprogramming toolbox

It has been known for some years now that transient expression of a specific subset of neuronal transcription factors can reprogram fibroblasts to cells with neuronal properties. However, it is not known whether this reprogramming property is exhibited only by a restricted set of transcription factors or whether it would be possible to achieve greater diversity in output with other transcription factors. Kristin Baldwin and colleagues screen 600 pairs of transcription factors and identify 76 with neuronal reprogramming activity. They use these induced neurons to define cell-autonomous features of neuronal identity, which they hope will help to obtain induced neurons with specific characteristics for further research.

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