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In a process called differentiation, the cells of the developing organism undergo huge changes, which result in cells, functioning "completely" differently. Two cells are considered to be of different types if they are having different sets of template-competent genes, though most of the genes in the human genome are common even in highly differentiated cells. Being able to produce specific proteins from the same genome is achieved by something called open chromatin state of the DNA. What I would like to ask is why can't this specific conformation of the DNA be reversed as this would likely answer the title of this question? I would also like to have some tips on further reading in the topic of DNA conformations and about DNA generally.


I used Gabor Forgacs's and Stuart A. Newman's book called Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo

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This "undifferentiation" is actually possible and it is known as induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). The first "undifferentiation" cells i.e. iPSCs were mouse fibroblasts created in 2006 by researchers in Shina Yamanaka's lab who got the Nobel prize in 2012 for this work.

You can find further reading on this topic on the according Wikipedia-Page or more scientific details on the according nature.com topic.

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