The journal Nature Methods recently announced induced pluripotent stem cells as Method of the Year 2009 for its potential for biological discovery. In the few short years since their discovery by Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka, iPS cells have become one of the most studied - and promising - cell types to model disease.
iPS are created from adult cells that are reprogrammed to a pluripotent (or embryonic-like) state. They can be modeled from readily available adult cells, such as skin cells, which makes them a much more readily available source of cells.
In its current issue, Nature Methods includes several articles on iPS cells, including a news feature, commentaries by SCN investigators Andras Nagy and Timothy Caulfield (view related blog post on Caulfield's work in iPS ethics) and an introductory video: