FROM THE PUBLISHER
The derivation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 was a landmark discovery which will lead to a more profound understanding of human developmental processes, and could result in medical therapies for diseases characterized by the failure or destruction of specialized cells.
Human Embryonic Stem Cells begins by addressing the basic biology of the cells, in the context of the other stem cell populations present in fetuses and adult organisms. Discussion then turns to how stem cells can be used to further the understanding of human developmental processes, which currently lags far behind that of model organisms. Several chapters describe attempts to generate stem cell-derived specific lineages as potential tools for cell-based therapeutics, and these are followed by discussion of the legal and moral issues which accompany this ground-breaking research.
This book is essential reading for all those involved in the many facets of human embryonic stem cell research. It will be of particular interest for new researchers in the field, who are joining the growing number of laboratories and institutes which are currently being established to study the biology and applications of stem cells in general.
The Advanced Methods series is intended for advanced undergraduates, graduate students and established research scientists. Titles in the series are designed to cover current important areas of research in life sciences, and include both theoretical background and detailed protocols. The aim is to give researchers sufficient theory, supported by references, to take the given protocols and adapt them to their particular experimental systems.
Since the first successful isolation and cultivation of human embryonic stem cells at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1998, there have been high levels of both interest and controversy in this area of research. This book provides a concise overview of an exciting field, covering the characteristics of both human embryonic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells from other human cell lineages. The following chapters describe state-of-the-art differentiation and characterization of specific ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm-derived