The social debate involving the creation of human embryos for stem cell therapy prompted the writing of this text. The emerging field of human embryonic stem cell biomedicine crosses many disciplinary boundaries - cell biology, reproductive biology, embryology, molecular biology, endocrinology, immunology, fetal medicine, transplantation medicine and surgery. This single reference provides basic information from these multiple disciplines as it pertains to the science of stem cells.
Recognized experts describe the most frequently used cellular, molecular, and electrophysiological methods to isolate, characterize, and utilize neural stem cells. These reproducible techniques introduce the various sources of stem/progenitor cells, provide a wide range of conditions for their culture, and make it possible to define their properties in culture. The techniques are designed to help researchers identify endogenous stem cells as well as exogenous stem cells after transplantation in the brain. Protocols range from the simplest methods of isolation and characterization of neural cell properties to such sophisticated methods as characterizing gene expression, telomerase assays, and cell cycle kinetics.
This survey the "state-of-the-science" of stem cell biology explains the origins of stem cells and describes how they function, how they can cause illness, and how they might be employed to cure or ameliorate disease.
In particular, the authors discuss the roles of stem cells in development and organogenesis, in normal tissue turnover, in the repair response to injury, and in carcinogenesis. They also explain how to obtain stem cells from different organs, culture them in vitro, and manipulate them for therapeutic use.