Original source: Safe and ethically uncontroversial stem-cell treatments for a host of diseases came closer to reality on Sunday thanks to a major breakthrough by British and Canadian scientists.

Working together, the two teams gave skin cells embryonic powers while avoiding pitfalls that would normally lead to cancer or genetic abnormalities in patients.

The research raises the practical prospect for the first time of developing wide-ranging ‘spare part’ stem-cell treatments without having to destroy human embryos.