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Stem Cells: Golden Opportunities with Ethical Baggage

Stems cells are defined as those cells which can divide to produce a daughter like themselves (self-renewal) as well as a daughter that will give rise to specific differentiated cells. Stem cells in the body may be unipotent, like spermatogenic stem cells (which are responsible for the continuing production of spermatozoa), or they can be multipotent, like neural or hemopoietic stem cells, which give rise respectively to all the varied cell types in the nervous system or in the blood and immune system. Given the possibility of directed differentiation of stem cells, these multipotent somatic stem cell lines may prove to be of significant clinical value. This article discusses the potential as well as the ethical issues associated with the use of stem cells.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Anne McLaren of Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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