Stem cells are the basis for every organ and tissue in our bodies. We continually rely on stem cells to replace and rejuvenate tissues lost every day, such as hair, blood, and skin. Currently researchers in this exciting field are working with patients suffering from a host of diseases and conditions that do not respond well to other therapies. These experimental procedures are termed “clinical trials” and are used to begin the study of how the human body responds to stem cell treatment. Early research is often done with laboratory animals, but success with animals does not always translate well into that same level of success with humans. Further research must be done to test both the safety and efficacy of the treatment for human patients before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can approve the therapy.
Completing this activity will assist you in mastering Module Level Outcomes 2 and 3.
Review these assigned readings; they will serve as your scientific sources of accurate information:
Understanding Stem Cells [PDF, file size 974 KB] from the National Academies.
Nine Things to Know About Stem Cell Treatments (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
How Science Becomes Medicine (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Fighting aging using stem cell therapy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Goldman, B. (2016) White coat, black art: Stem cell hype and risk (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. CBC Radio
Kamenova, K., & Caulfield, T. (2015) Stem cell hype: Media portrayal of therapy translation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Science Translational Medicine, V7, Issue 278, pp. 278