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Stem Cell Research: Science and the Future

Since 1998, when scientists isolated embryonic stem cells in a lab, questions over how -- and whether -- to use them have abounded. In Stem Cell Now, bioethics expert Christopher Thomas Scott explores the possibilities of what some consider the greatest discovery since nuclear fusion.

The book details what Scott calls a revolution in research, as the potential for freely available cells that can help repair or rebuild the human body is still being explored.

But while his main concern is the science behind stem-cell research, Scott also takes pains to describe the ethical and moral debate over how the advances are used. For many, embryonic stem cells are at the nexus of a political, religious and medical controversy.

If Scott's examination of stem-cell science helps to inform the ongoing debate, his look at possible treatments helps explain what is at stake. From reversing cancer to replacing damaged organs, much has been made of the generative aspect of stem cells. Stem Cell Now offers a sense of what is possible now, and what may come in the next decade.

Scott heads Stanford University's Program on Stem Cells and Society. He was also a founder and executive editor of the award-winning biotech journal Acumen. His writing has appeared in journals, including Science, Nature Biotechnology, and The Scientist.

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