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Stem Cells

Author(s): Joseph G. Marx, Ph.D

Overview

Stem cell research seeks to understand how an organism develops from a single cell and how damaged or malfunctioning cells and tissues are replaced in the adult organism. Recent research indicates that stem cells could be used to alleviate a number of life threatening diseases and injuries among humans. A majority of scientists agree there is great promise for treatments involving stem cells, and the therapeutic potential of this technology is enormous. However, stem cell research remains a very controversial issue. This presentation will attempt to answer the following basic questions related to stem cell research.

  • What is a cell?
  • What is a stem cell?
  • How do we get stem cells?
  • What is the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells?
  • Why are stem cells clinically important?