Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy

Providing the philosophical, practical, and theoretical leverage for abandoning evolution and development in favor of engineering human beings, Becoming Immortal examines the directions biological change might take if civilization were to take charge of its own destiny. With the aid of embryonic manipulation, cloning, and stem-cell therapy, immortality would seem within the reach of future generations. The question is, “Do we presently have the wisdom to undertake creating immortal organisms?” The author examines every facet of this question, from theory to practice, and provides an answer through an in-depth analysis of life and death.

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Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells, Volume 11: Therapeutic Applications in Disease and injury

Volume 11 in this series discusses therapeutic applications of stem cells in disease and tissue injury. Coverage includes pluripotent stem cells, which can give rise to the endodermal, ectodermal, and mesodermal lineages; multipotent stem cells, which can generate all cells in a particular lineage and unipotent stem cells, which can give rise to only one cell type. This volume also examines cancer stem cells, tumor-initiating cells which possesses the capacity of self-renewal and can give rise to the heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells that comprise the tumor. Coverage extends to molecular mechanisms underlying the derivation and expansion of human embryonic stem cells, the role of specific proteins in the maintenance and inhibition of extraembryonic differentiation of these cells and the role of signaling responsible for the self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells. Nine chapters discuss the clinical importance of cancer stem cells, encompassing glioma, leukemia, ovarian cancer, pediatric sarcomas and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The role of cancer stem cells is also elucidated in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in spreading head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The book goes on to survey therapeutic application of stem cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin for regeneration of bones, including in osteoporotic bone disease; to illuminate the application of hematopoietic stem cells in bone regeneration and to discuss their use as a biomarker to facilitate determination of a treatment. The contributors review cells as biomarkers for pediatric solid tumors, and weigh the advantages and limitations of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Also included are details of neural stem cell engraftment in the injured spinal cord; the regenerative potential of neural stem/progenitor cells of newborns and cancer gene therapy potential using neural stem cells. Like the preceding volumes in the series, this book is distinguished for its comprehensive approach, its distinguished roster of 58 contributors representing 10 different countries and its thorough review of leading-edge technology and methods.

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Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

MSC (mesenchymal stem cells) have been reported to initiate revascularization after injury, to facilitate engraftment of blood-forming stem cells, and to reduce the incidence of graft-vs. host disease through their immune-suppressive qualities. Finally, bone marrow-derived MSC have been reported to home to areas of solid tumor revascularization, and thus may be used as delivery vehicles to target ablative agents into dividing tumor cells. Recently the characteristics of human MSC from adipose (fat) tissue have also been identified. The possibility of repairing tissues, speeding stem cell engraftment, and targeting solid tumors for specific killing, using MSC easily harvested from bone marrow, or better yet, from unwanted fat tissue, holds broad appeal, and is an intriguing possibility that could have dramatic effect on health care.

This book has information on how to isolate, grow, and characterize MSC from marrow and fat, and gives important insight into how these cells may be used for gene delivery and cellular therapies in the future. Updates on emerging clinical trials are given.

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