Thymocytes after T-lineage commitment develop in the T-cell pathway. However, in a recent study, Li et al. (2010) demonstrated that inducing to delete Bcl11b gene in these thymocytes, even in mature T cells turns these cells into natural killer (NK) cells during the culture. They called this conversion 'reprogramming', and the reprogrammed killer cells 'ITNK cells'. The ITNK cells possessed tumor-killer ability and did not indiscriminately kill normal cells. This exciting finding represents a major breakthrough towards curing cancer and identifies an important, novel transcription factor in the thymus development.