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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ellen Mary Andrews, Ph.D.(Midwestern University)
Description: As a comprehensive primer of stem cell biology, this book covers the basics of stem cell biology, various types of stem cells in health and disease, the therapeutic potential of stem cells, and stem cell methodology. This is an update of the second edition, which was published in 2009.
Purpose: The goal is to review the field, with a focus on basic stem cell biology, concepts, methods, and therapeutic potential. This update is necessary to keep up with changes in the field and to properly educate students in stem cell biology.
Audience: The intended audience includes both students and general readers interested in stem cell advances, and the book would be ideal for a graduate student course or upper level undergraduate course. The book assumes a knowledge of basic embryology. The extensive glossary will be helpful to stem cell beginners.
Features: The six sections include an introduction to stem cells, basic biology and mechanisms, tissue and organ development, methods, applications, and regulations and ethics. The book begins with a short history of stem cell research, as well as basic definitions and stem cell types. The next section covers the concepts of stem cell niches, phenotypic changes of stem cells, and self-renewal. The section on tissue and organ development reviews the basic embryology of various tissue types and organs, focusing on the stem cell of each tissue/organ type. Each chapter also discusses embryonic stem cell induction of that tissue type/organ (for example, various neuronal cell types that have been induced from embryonic stem cells and the basic conditions necessary to do so). Each chapter ends with the therapeutic application or potential of stem cell induction for diseases and disorders that are common to that particular tissue or organ. The methods section covers induction of pluripotent cells, derivation and properties of embryonic stem cells, and murine embryonic stem cells and human embryonic stem cells. The applications section discusses the therapeutic applications and potential of stem cells in treating various diseases and disorders, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to burns, heart disease, and muscular dystrophy. The final section briefly discusses the ethics of stem cell research. Interestingly, there is also a chapter that covers the FDA regulatory process, which is of great importance for students and scientists in industry.
Assessment: This book offers a thorough review of current research and therapeutic potential in the field of stem cell biology. The focus is on the therapeutic potential of stem cells, with the discussion of the current state of stem cell knowledge and stem cell therapies in various organs and tissues. Although the target audience seems to be graduate students, any scientists interested in studying the field would benefit from this book's thorough treatment of the subject.