FEBS J 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.
Center for Genomics, Evolution and Medicine, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Riia 23b, 51010, Tartu, Estonia.
The study of human evolution, long constrained by a lack of experimental model systems, has been transformed by the emergence of the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) field. iPSCs can be readily established from non-invasive tissues sources, both from humans and other primates; they can be maintained in the laboratory indefinitely and they can be differentiated into other tissue types. These qualities mean that iPSCs are rapidly becoming established as viable and powerful model systems with which it is possible to address questions in human evolution that were until now logistically and ethically intractable, especially in the quest to understand humans' place amongst the great apes, and the genetic basis of human uniqueness. Read More