Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | March 1, 2012

byJonathan Slack

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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 thengoes on to discuss the properties of tissue-specific stem cells and the important technique of bone marrow transplantation. Slack concludes by analysing 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 thefuture.

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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 th...

Jonathan Slack is Director of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota, USA, and also holds the Tulloch Chair of Stem Cell Biology. His recent research has focused on the mechanisms of regeneration of missing parts, and on methods for inducing the transformation of one tissue type into another by overexpression of specif...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199603383

ISBN - 13:9780199603381

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Orientation to stem cells2. Embryonic stem cells3. Personalised pluripotent stem cells4. Proposed therapies using pluripotent stem cells5. Tissue-specific stem cells6. Current therapy with tissue specific stem cells7. Realistic and unrealistic expectationsGlossaryFurther reading