Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction 

The topic of stem cells has been very high profile in the media in recent years. There is much public interest in stem cells but also much confusion and misinformation, with some companies already offering “stem cell products” and bogus “stem cell therapies”. In this Very Short Introduction, Jonathan Slack introduces stem cells; what they are, what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and how they might be used in future.

Despite important advances, clinical applications of stem cells are still in their infancy. Most real stem cell therapy today is some form of bone marrow transplantation. Slack introduces stem cells by explaining the difference between embryonic stem cells, which exist only in laboratory cultures, and tissue-specific stem cells, which exist in our bodies. Embryonic stem cells can become any cell type in the body, so diseases that may in future be treated by functional cells derived from these sorts of stem cell include diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and spinal trauma. He then goes on to discuss the properties of tissue-specific stem cells and the important technique of bone marrow transplantation. Slack concludes by analyzing how medical innovation has occurred in this area in the past, and draws out some of the lessons for the development of new therapies in the future.

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STEM CELLS : VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

Click here if you need more detailed info…

Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

Embryonic stem cells have been hot-button topics in recent years, generating intense public interest as well as much confusion and misinformation. In this Very Short Introduction, leading authority Jonathan Slack offers a clear and informative overview of stem cells–what they are, what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and how they might be used in the future. Slack explains the difference between embryonic stem cells, which exist only in laboratory cultures, and tissue-specific stem cells, which exist in our bodies, and he discusses how embryonic stem cells may be used in the future to treat such illnesses as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, spinal trauma, and retinal degeneration. But he stresses that, despite important advances, the clinical applications of stem cells are still in their infancy and that most real stem cell therapy today is some form of bone marrow transplantation. Slack concludes by analyzing how medical innovation has occurred in this area in recent years and he draws out some of the lessons for the development of new therapies in the future.

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