|MadSci Network: Cell Biology|
Although it is fairly easy to get stem cells to differentiate, there is a lot that is not known about how to control stem cell differentiation in the lab. Many different cell types can arise, the challenge is to direct all cells toward one particular fate. A really excellent, up to date summary of all things related to stem cells is available: http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/scireport.htm This is a lengthy and recent report prepared by the National Institutes of Health. To quote briefly from the Preface "The report is a review of the state of the science of stem cell research as of June 17, 2001. Included in this report is subject matter addressing stem cells from adult, fetal tissue and embryonic sources. Because so much of the progress made to date was dependent on animal models, a significant emphasis is placed on understandings gained from mouse models of development and mouse stem cell research. The report also devites substantal attention to scientific publications on the characterization of specialized cells developed from embryonic stem cells and the plasticity of adult stem cells."
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