The Proteus Effect:: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine

The Proteus Effect:: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine

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by Ann B. Parson
     
 

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To extract stem cell technology from the controversy surrounding it, Parson, a science journalist, focuses on the nature of stem cells and the history of scientific knowledge about them, beginning in 1740 through the present. While her account is well researched and balanced, Parson writes with a journalist's eye for the human interest story, personalizing the history…  See more details below

Overview

To extract stem cell technology from the controversy surrounding it, Parson, a science journalist, focuses on the nature of stem cells and the history of scientific knowledge about them, beginning in 1740 through the present. While her account is well researched and balanced, Parson writes with a journalist's eye for the human interest story, personalizing the history with narratives about scientists' experiments and discoveries. She concludes the volume with a realistic view of the possible benefits of stem cell research. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Stem cells could be the key to unlocking cures to scores of diseases and illnesses. Nevertheless, stem cell studies remain the most controversial field of scientific research today, provoking acrimonious charges and countercharges in the political arena. Science journalist Ann B. Parson goes to the root of the stem cell issue, charting the incremental progress of cellular research. The Proteus Effect explains the marvelously flexible nature of stem cells and describes its possible applications to diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even baldness.
Publishers Weekly
Arguably the most exciting, promising and controversial medical research being performed today explores the potential of stem cells, unique cells that, when dividing, can produce either more cells like themselves or other specialized cells, such as heart cells, skin cells and neurons. Since President Bush's highly publicized excursion into bioethics in the summer of 2001, when he limited government funding of stem-cell research, stem cells have been thrust into the public consciousness, bringing the promise of regenerative medicine and miracle cures for such conditions as multiple sclerosis, blindness, heart damage and male pattern baldness. Though most of what's written on the science and ethics of stem-cell research focuses on the cutting edge, in this study, science journalist Parson takes us through its history, ranging from 18th-century natural philosophers' discovery of seemingly immortal organisms to the exploration, two centuries later, of curious mouse tumors, called teratomas, that may unlock the secrets of the human embryo. If anything, the book is too thorough, and the never-ending succession of new scientists and new breakthroughs means that few, if any, stick in the reader's mind as particularly memorable. The real focus is the scientific process itself, with its incremental and distributed march forward. While not for the casual reader, this book will satisfy those looking to immerse themselves in the finer points of stem-cell history. Agent, Doe Coover. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this engaging and well-researched account of stem-cell research, science journalist Parson (coauthor, Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Disease) describes the history of regeneration, embryology, and developmental biology research. She recounts how the search for stem cells in animals eventually led to embryonic and fetal stem-cell research, which in turn brought up the myriad ethical and political problems. Parson is sympathetic to the dilemmas faced by researchers who want to study stem cells for developmental and medical reasons. While human trials are still not conclusive, Parson discusses possible medical uses for stem cell: cures for Parkinson's disease, juvenile onset diabetes, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, and many other conditions. Most current books on stem-cell research are technical, somewhat biased, or told from one point of view. Parson has presented a fair, well-rounded view of the subject. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Margaret Henderson, formerly with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Lib., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780309089883
Publisher:
National Academies Press
Publication date:
09/02/2004
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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The Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book The Proteus Effect by Ann Parson is a thrilling documentation of different scientist nation-wide and their findings dealing with Stem Cell Research. Each chapter conveys a different story of how a new Stem Cell scientific finding was originally founded and what it was turned out to help cure. Stem Cell findings are a key in the Science for finding that can eventually become medical cures for diseases and sicknesses of all kinds. Each different report of a Stem Cell finding in this book is nothing short of a miracle, helping one way or another save a life, whether it is a human or an animal. The book overall doesn't portray a story with a climax like a normal book, the book is just many short stories of the same topic (Stem Cells). Wouldn't say it's a must read unless you have too, because the book contains large vocabulary and confusing scientific terminology that made it hard to understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent work here. Well rounded and researched. Written for both the medical professionals as well as the lay readers. This is a fascinating topic as readers will find. A must read for all those with an interest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always wanted to know more about this subject but usually have a hard time getting through science books. Ann Parson however had me turning the pages. Proteus Effect is a very timely, informative, and readable book. A must read for everyone.