Human embryonic stem cell research is a new field of scientific inquiry. In this chapter we have seen the development of the field and the debt it owes to a number of other medical discoveries. It took decades for doctors to develop predictable protocols for bone marrow transplants, which are now well-established procedures. This is the future that many hope will arrive for hESC and iPSC research. We have a few more decades to go before the discovery becomes a standard procedure and the era of personalized or precision medicine is ready for its prime.

Additional readings

Original sources and other scholarly readings

Scholarly research requires reading original sources in addition to secondary sources. Some of the articles in this section are very scientific. Test your skill at thinking like a cell biologist.

  • 1. J. Gearhart, New potential for human embryonic stem cells, Science 282 (5391), November 1998: 1061-1062;
  • 2. J. A. Thomson et al., Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts, Science 282 (5319), November 1998: 1145-1147;
  • 3. M. J. Shamblott et al., Derivation of pluripotent stem cells from cultured human primordial germ cells, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95, November 1998: 13726-13731;
  • 4. NIH, The Human Embryonic Stem Cell and the Human Embryonic Germ Cell, http:// [A timeline of important discoveries and contributions in the development of stem cells].
  • 5. NIH, Learn about Clinical Trials,
  • 6. NIH, Stem cell basics,
  • 7. P. S. Knoepfler, Key anticipated issues for clinical use of human induced pluripotent stem cells, in Regenerative Medicine, 7 (5): September 2012: 713-720 http://www.ncbi.nlm.
  • 8. S. Minger, Blue Skies: The future of regenerative medicine, February 1, 2015, at https:// [Stephen Minger, Chief Scientist, Life Sciences, GE Healthcare].
  • 9. S. Solomon, Realizing the Promise of Stem Cell Research, at montedtalk; stem_cells?language=en [Susan Solomon is the co-founder and CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation].
  • 10. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning and Regeneration, 2006 Holiday Lecture, Douglas Melton, Lecture 1: Understanding Embryonic Stem Cells;

Secondary analysis and news articles

  • 1. A. Wolfe, Susan L. Solomon’s stem-cell research quest, WallStreetJournal, February 5, 2016:
  • 2. E. Yong, Testing drugs on Mini-Yous, Grown in a Dish, The Atlantic, June 22, 2016; wn-in-a-dish/488039/.
  • 3. J. A. Johnson and E. D. Williams, Stem cell research, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Updated August 10, 2005, at zation/51131.pdf.
  • 4. 4. C. Dreifus, At Harvard’s stem cell center, the barriers run deep and wide, New York Times, January 24, 2006; cell-center-the-barriers-run-deep-and-wide.html?_r=0.
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