Stem Cell Now: A Brief Introduction to the Coming Medical Revolution

Overview

While many believe stem cell research holds the key to curing a wide range of ailments, others see this research as opening a Pandora’s box that will devalue human life.

In Stem Cell Now, Christopher Scott—executive director of Stanford University’s Stem Cells and Society Program—lays out the scientific and ethical issues surrounding this national dilemma. Scott guides readers through the latest advances in stem cell research in clear, accessible language, telling the stories of...

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Stem Cell Now

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Overview

While many believe stem cell research holds the key to curing a wide range of ailments, others see this research as opening a Pandora’s box that will devalue human life.

In Stem Cell Now, Christopher Scott—executive director of Stanford University’s Stem Cells and Society Program—lays out the scientific and ethical issues surrounding this national dilemma. Scott guides readers through the latest advances in stem cell research in clear, accessible language, telling the stories of the researchers who are exploring the potential of stem cells to cure cancer, grow new organs, and repair the immune system. He also leads readers through a discussion of the question at the heart of the explosive ethical debate: How, as a society, do we balance our responsibilities to the unborn and the sick? Stem Cell Now is essential reading for anyone who wants to build an informed opinion on stem cell research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Probably the most lucid and readable primer on the science and politics of stem cells. Scott goes beyond the hype of instant cures and pro-life antagonism to present the true breadth of stem cell research.” —Seed Magazine

“Illuminating reading for everyone who wants to understand a hot-button topic that will dominate the political, medical, and religious arenas for years to come.” —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452287853
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 958,842
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT is executive director of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics Program in Stem Cells and Society. He has appeared on national radio and television, and has written for major newspapers and journals such as Science, Nature Biotechnology, and The Scientist.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A very good introduction to stem cells

    Over the past decade or so stem cells have become a household term. Most of this is based on the significance that these cells have in building and repairing of the living tissues. Consequently, it is believed and hoped that the mastery over these cells will give us an unprecedented access to new therapeutical techniques and it would advance medicine by an unprecedented amount. However, the use of stem cells, particularly those that are derived from embryos, is fraught with serious ethical challenges. Unfortunately, most of the debate and issues that are raised are not readily accessible, because the sheer number and variety of terms, concepts and ideas can be overwhelming and subtle differences can have major consequences, both biologically and ethically. In light of that, a good introductory book to the topic of stem cells is invaluable and "Stem Cell Now" fits that task perfectly. It is supremely informative without getting overwhelming with technical jargon, and it's accessible and eminently readable. Its primary purpose is to describe the science behind the stem cells, what we in fact know about them, and in this respect it is a valuable resource. The book, however, does not shy from advocacy and Christopher Scott is a clear proponent of lifting most serious restrictions on the use of stem cells in research in the United States. On the other hand he is not dogmatic about his positions and he recognizes that there is a serious ongoing debate on the subject. He presents the opposing viewpoints as well without deriding them or being condescending, and the reader is free to form his or her opinion, or to seek out further information on the subject.

    One danger of writing a book on a very active ongoing field of research is that new discoveries are made almost daily, and some major new breakthroughs have come about since this book came out of print (like successfully inducing human adult somatic cells to become stem cells.) However, the body of knowledge and the scientific understanding that has been presented in this book has already had a pretty long shelf life and it will continue to be a valuable resource and a good first introduction to stem cells for years to come.

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