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Stem Cell DialoguesA Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers$
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Sheldon Krimsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167482

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167482.001.0001

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Why is this Cell Different from Other Cells?

Why is this Cell Different from Other Cells?

(p.5) Dialogue 2 Why is this Cell Different from Other Cells?
Stem Cell Dialogues

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

In this dialogue, Dr. Charles Walker, a stem cell biologist, and Dr. Rebecca Franklin are having a conversation about how stem cells differ from other cells. Walker is one of the nation's pioneers in isolating, activating, and delivering embryonic stem cells to tissues in rodents. Franklin received her master's degree in bioethics and before she started her own career in stem cell research, she interviewed Walker in his laboratory for an article she was planning to write for a general audience, like her father who is suffering from thoracic spinal cord injury. Here they talk about blood stem cells; how scientists distinguish the different types of stem cells; the distinction between totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent stem cells; how stem cells can replace diseased, damaged, or abnormal cells; stem cell signaling; and the health risks that arise when the stem cells are used to treat human disease, citing the case of bone marrow transplants involving hematopoietic stem cells.

Keywords:   stem cells, embryonic stem cells, stem cell research, blood stem cells, abnormal cells, stem cell signaling, health risks, human disease, bone marrow transplants, hematopoietic stem cells

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