"Several years ago, a postdoctoral researcher working in Fu's lab was taking that approach, using a technique called siRNA to silence the PTB gene in connective tissue cells known as fibroblasts. But it's a tedious process that needs to be performed over and over. He got tired of it and convinced Fu they should use a different technique to create a stable cell line that's permanently lacking PTB. At first, the postdoc complained about that too, because it made the cells grow so slowly.
But then he noticed something odd after a couple of weeks — there were very few fibroblasts left. Almost the whole dish was instead filled with neurons.
In this serendipitous way, the team discovered that inhibiting or deleting just a single gene, the gene that encodes PTB, transforms several types of mouse cells directly into neurons." Science Daily
Does this have some relevance to approaches to treatment of senile dementia and Alzheimer's? pl