Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells

Science  05 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5407, pp. 1432-1434
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5407.1432

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Because of their potential to produce replacements for many types or tissues or organs damaged by disease, the immature cells called stem cells have become one of the hottest topics in biology. But realizing their potential won't be easy because researchers have not yet learn to control the cells' development so that they produce the specific tissue type wanted. Still, they do have clues--for example, they've identified growth factors that can guide the development of some types of stem cells--and hopes are high that the problems can be overcome.