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01 Stem Cell Research and Society- Winter 2014


Stem cell research is a relatively new discipline of science. It grew out of pioneering work on mice by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till of University of Toronto in 1963. In 1981 Gail R. Martin of University of California at San Francisco developed a technique for extracting stem cells from mouse embryos and created the term “embryonic stem cells”. More recently, in 1998, James Thomson of University of Wisconsin at Madison first developed a technique to isolate and grow human embryonic stem cells in cell culture dish. With Thomson’s discovery, humanity hoped for new treatments and cures for many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and endless other ailments. Despite a substantial progress to date and numerous applications already in clinical practice, stem cell research continuously faces many socio-scientific misconceptions.

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