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The end of the beginning for pluripotent stem cells

, : The end of the beginning for pluripotent stem cells. Nature 414(6859): 92-97

Part of a special section explaining the fundamentals of stem cell biology. Pluripotent stem cells represent an incredible resource for the repair of diseased or damaged tissues in our bodies and promise to open a new door into the embryonic development of our species. These stem cells can be expanded seemingly indefinitely in culture, maintaining a normal karyotype, and have the potential to generate every cell type in the body. Recent advances suggest that, if certain major hurdles are overcome, pluripotent stem cells derived from human embryos could be used to treat a wide variety of human diseases, especially those in which specific cell types have been lost or disabled. In addition, studies of these cells may, for the first time, afford an understanding of how a human embryo grows and develops into a new individual, and how the process can go awry. The opportunity comes with great responsibility, but also inspires great awe.


PMID: 11689953

DOI: 10.1038/35102154

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