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Stem Cells For Dummies: The Controvery, Pros and Cons, Facts, Future Research

Posted Jan 27 2010 8:04pm

Stem Cells for Dummies CoverOk, I admit it. I am a Dummie!  Especially when it comes to Science!  I do hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Berkeley but it’s not exactly the type of “Science” degree you need when your children are dying from a rare cholesterol disease that causes dementia.

All of a sudden topics like gene therapy and stem cells are very important topics in our household as research into these areas could lead to life-saving treatments for our twins.   But learning complex scientific topics like stem cells can be intimidating to many people.

Dr. Larry Goldstein, professor of cellular and molecular medicine and director of University of California San Diego’s stem cell program, has written a book in plain English on stem cells called Stem Cells for Dummies. The book is intended for anyone who wishes to learn more about stem cells, where they come from and the potential use of stem cells in medical research and in treating disease.

What is the difference between Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), Adult stem cells (ASCs) or iPS cells (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells)?  What are the many objections to stems cell use in research and why is it such a highly controversial topic?  The book is written for the layperson, doctors or even someone in the medical research field who is not familiar with stem cells.

Stem cell derived neurons will someday allow scientists like Dr. Goldstein determine whether breakdowns in the transport of proteins and  lipids within cells trigger the neuronal death and neurodegeneration that is a hallmark in Alzheimer’s and Niemann-Pick Type C disease.

Stem Cells for Dummies is a fantastic book that allows anyone to brush up on basic biology and learn about critical stem cell research at the same time. You can read the index of topics here. Learning about stem cells today could be life-saving for you or someone you love in the future as the world moves closer to regenerative medicine.

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