Stem cells : a very short introduction
Part of the Very Short Introductions series
The topic of stem cells has a high profile in the media.
We've made important advances in our scientific understanding, but despite this the clinical applications of stem cells are still in their infancy and most real stem cell therapy carried out today is some form of bone marrow transplantation.
At the same time, a scandalous spread of unproven stem cell treatments by private clinics represents a serious problem, with treatments being offered which are backed bylimited scientific rationale, and which are at best ineffective, and at worse harmful.
This Very Short Introduction introduces stem cells, exploring what they are, and what scientists do with them.
Introducing the different types of stem cells, Jonathan Slack explains how they can be used to treat diseases such as retinal degeneration, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and spinal trauma.
He also discusses the important technique of bone marrow transplantation and some other types of current stem cell therapy, used for the treatment of blindness and of severeburns.
Slack warns against fake stem cell treatments and discusses how to distinguish real from fake treatments.
He also describes the latest scientific progress in the field, and looks forward to what we can expect to happen in the next few yearsVery Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.
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