Special Reviews

Why Stem Cells?

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Science  25 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5457, pp. 1439-1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5457.1439

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Stem cells are viewed from the perspectives of their function, evolution, development, and cause. Counterintuitively, most stem cells may arise late in development, to act principally in tissue renewal, thus ensuring an organism's long-term survival. Surprisingly, recent reports suggest that tissue-specific adult stem cells have the potential to contribute to replenishment of multiple adult tissues.

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