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Book and Media Reviews
September 3, 2008

Human Embryonic Stem Cells: The Practical Handbook

JAMA. 2008;300(9):1082. doi:10.1001/jama.300.9.1082

Human embryonic stem cell research is one of a scant few biological fields that promises to revolutionize human health care. In time, researchers and clinicians will generate most mature cell types in the human body from such cells. These cellular populations of tissue-specific human cell types will open a new age in developmental biology, in vitro modeling of human diseases, cellular regenerative therapies, bioengineering, and drug discoveries. However, human embryonic stem cell research is a young field just shy of its potential, currently in a phase of basic investigations of these cells themselves and the characterization of the cell types produced from their differentiation. These fundamental investigations in turn have led to the absence of standardized protocols in human embryonic stem cell research and the parallel development of protocols to reach a common end.