The Stem Cell Hope
How Stem Cell Medicine Can Change Our LivesBook - 2011
HOW CLOSE ARE WE , really, to curing diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's? Drugs and pharmaceutical products can only do so much-they treat but often fall short of curing. But what if we could replace tissues damaged by these and other diseases with a patient's own healthy cells? It's becoming increasingly clear that the answer lies with stem cell research-a science so embroiled in political and ethical controversy that the truly astounding advances made in recent years are often lost amid the debate.
Stem cell science is poised to become the next medical revolution-the kind that alters the very way we look at ourselves, our bodies, and the way we treat disease. In this landmark book, veteran journalist Alice Park chronicles the history of stem cells from their controversial beginning to the recent electrifying promise of being able to create them without the use of human embryos.
From Doug Melton, whose infant son almost dies from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes and who goes on to found the Harvard Stem Cell Institute undeterred by the fact that stem cells are far from his area of expertise; to James Thomson, who makes the breakthrough of growing the first human embryonic stem cells; to George W. Bush, who uses stem cell research to make a political statement that drives the research virtually underground for almost a decade; to Robert Klein, who figures out how to get around government restrictions by launching Proposition 71 in California; to Shinya Yamanaka, the self-effacing Japanese scientist who recently figured out how to derive these precious cells from mouse skin; it's a story of fear, hope, and tremendous struggle to yield potentially lifesaving results.