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This book looks at where stem cell technology is presently and how it is instrumental in advancing the field of disease modeling and cell transplantation. By focusing on major human disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disorders, the book summarizes the major findings in the field of human stem cells and dissect the current limitations on our understanding of stem cells biology. The chapters focus on the genetics, genomics, epigenetics and physiology of stem cells models, together with technological advances on molecular biology such as CRISPR/Cas9 or epigenetic editing, that will be instrumental in the future of human disease modeling and treatment.
In base of the limitations of current disease models and in front of the unmet necessity of finding therapeutical interventions for human disorders, the availability of stem cell technology has opened new doors for several fields. The unlimited self-renewal capacity and more extensive differentiation potential of stem cells offers a theoretically inexhaustible and replenishable source of any cell subtype. Since Professor Shinya Yamanaka described it, 10 years ago in his seminal paper, that somatic cells could be reprogrammed to inducible stem cells (iPSC) just by expressing four transcription factors, the field of has exploded, especially its applications in biomedical research.
Richard Cohen struggles with failing limbs and is legally blind. He has survived two bouts of colon cancer and a life-threatening blood clot in his lungs. After enduring decades of harsh treatments and invasive therapies, Cohen decided to trade in his life as a patient.
In 2012, Cohen and his wife, Meredith Vieira, were invited to host and chair an adult stem cell conference at the Vatican. Scientists would be gathering in Rome to discuss stem cell therapy for autoimmune diseases, including MS. A believer in the power of denial and determination over faith and hope, Cohen was caught off guard by what he learned. Medical technology had advanced further and more quickly than Cohen had known. Could there be a chance his health could improve? Could MS be cured? As Cohen took part in a pioneering stem cell protocol, he opened himself to the possibility of hope for the first time in his adult life.
Cohen’s deep dive into the cutting-edge world of stem cell research and his journalistic investigation of hope includes interviews with doctors, scientists, and religious leaders, as well as conversations with others living with chronic conditions, all with the goal of understanding a hope that is both elusive and alluring.
As drily funny as it is emotionally vulnerable, Chasing Hope navigates the fascinating and ever-changing intersection between illness and hope.