Stem Cell Now: From the Experiment That Shook the World to the New Politics of Life

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9780131737983: Stem Cell Now: From the Experiment That Shook the World to the New Politics of Life

THE STEM CELL IS SET TO DOMINATE POPULAR AWARENESS OF SCIENCE LIKE THE ATOM BOMB DID A GENERATION AGO. No area of science holds such immediate promise for treating disease and improving human lives as stem cell research. But no area of science also causes such fundamental ethical concern and such ferocious political conflict.

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THE STEM CELL IS SET TO DOMINATE POPULAR AWARENESS OF SCIENCE LIKE THE ATOM BOMB DID A GENERATION AGO. No area of science holds such immediate promise for treating disease and improving human lives as stem cell research. But no area of science also causes such fundamental ethical concern and such ferocious political conflict.

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT clarifies the science behind the stem cell revolution, from the landmark discovery of human embryonic stem cells to the latest research. He begins with how stem cells work, their role in the development and upkeep of the human body, and the differences between embryonic and adult stem cells. He then takes readers to the frontlines of this new science, introducing the men and women who are creating a new biotechnology and revealing their quests: Are there ultra-rare adult stem cells as powerful as embryonic stem cells? Can stem cells uncover the secrets of cancer, rendering it reversible? Can we transplant an immune system? How soon can we grow nerves and organs in the lab? The realm of possibility is exploding.

New science often provokes a redefinition of ethical standards. Stem cells have reignited the debate about the moral status of an embryo, and new rules are being created to govern the new technology. Scott clearly explains the arguments for and against the use of embryonic stem cells. He leaves the shrill rhetoric of both sides behind, leading readers through a discussion of the question at the heart of the debate: How, as a society, do we balance our responsibilities to the unborn and the sick?

As leading academics, doctors, businessmen, government leaders, and curious readers are finding, Stem Cell Now is the book to read on the most socially and culturally important scientific development of our time.

"The image on the cover of this book reminds me of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. Like Planet Earth, a single stem cell may well prove to be the starting point of a long and cosmic journey for humankind. Anyone who is interested in this journey (and its fascination should be universal) will find Stem Cell Now a solid and useful guide."
Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer-prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch

"If you want to read one book about both the science and social impact of stem cell research, this is the book. It is crystal clear, candid, and highly informative. It is terrific."
Michael S. Gazzaniga, Member of The President's Council on Bioethics, and author of The Ethical Brain

"By reducing complexity to simplicity without losing meaning, Scott provides a firmly grounded and well-illustrated schooling in our current understandings and misunderstandings of how stem cell research may play out in creating new forms of therapy for currently untreatable diseases. Scott enables readers to judge more meaningfully and effectively the conflicting opinions of the medical promise and ethical concerns that have dominated the public debates."
Paul Berg, Nobel laureate, Stanford University, and author of Dealing with Genes

"In this engaging book, biologists give their first-hand accounts of why their work generates such passion and attention. If you need an introduction to the intricacies of stem cell science and some of the complex ethical arguments behind the debates, this is a fine place to begin."
Laurie Zoloth, Director of the Center for Bioethics at Northwestern University, and co-editor of The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate:


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT is a Stanford University lecturer and is Executive Director of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics Program in Stem Cells and Society. He was formerly the assistant vice chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a founder and the executive editor of the award-winning biotech journal Acumen. He has appeared on national radio and television, and has written for major newspapers and journals such as Science, Nature Biotechnology, and The Scientist.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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