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The Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – October 2004

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What exactly are these biological wonders--these things called stem cells? They may be tiny, but their impact is earth-shaking, generating excitement among medical researchers--and outright turmoil in political circles. They are reported to be nothing short of miraculous. But they have also incited fear and mistrust in many. The power of stem cells rests in their unspecialized but marvelously flexible nature. They are the clay of life waiting for the cellular signal that will induce them to take on the shape of the beating cells of the heart muscle or the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. With a wave of our medical magic wand, it's possible that stem cells could be used to effectively treat (even cure) diseases such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even baldness. But should scientists be allowed to pick apart 5-day-old embryos in order to retrieve stem cells? And when stem cells whisper to us of immortality--they can divide and perpetuate new cells indefinitely--how do we respond? Stem cells are forcing us to not only reexamine how we define the beginning of life but how we come to terms with the end of life. Meticulously researched, artfully balanced, and engagingly told, Ann Parson chronicles a scientific discovery in progress, exploring the ethical debates, describing the current research, and hinting of a spectacular new era in medicine.
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ISBN-13: 9780309089883
ISBN-10: 0309089883
Pagini: 312
Dimensiuni: 160 x 232 x 25 mm
Greutate: 0.57 kg
Ediția: New.
Editura: Joseph Henry Press
Locul publicării: United States


"The first convincing evidence that failing hearts can be repaired using bone marrow stem cells has been produced by a clinical trial, it was revealed yesterday. U.S. scientists compared two groups of heart bypass patients, with patients in one group treated with stem cells taken from their own hip bones. Six months later the hearts of the stem cell group were pumping out more blood than those of patients who had bypass surgery alone."