Since the first successful isolation and cultivation of human
embryonic stem cells at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in
1998, there has 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 lineages from human embryonic stem cells,
emphasizing how these can be used to study human developmental
mechanisms. A further chapter discusses genetic manipulation of
human ES cells. The concluding section covers therapeutic
applications of human ES cells, as well as addressing the ethical
and legal issues that this research have raised.
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