Continued Cataloguing of Stem Cells

ScienceDaily provides a good example of the sort of work taking place in the stem cell field at the moment. Near future applications are as much about understanding how to correct problems in human tissue as about building replacement tissue: researchers "have discovered stem cells in the esophagus of mice that were able to grow into tissue-like structures and when placed into immune-deficient mice were able to form parts of an esophagus lining. ... The immediate implication is that we'll have a better understanding of the role of these stem cells in normal biology, as well as in regenerative and cancer biology ... Down the road, we will develop a panel of markers that will define these stem cells and use them in replacement therapy for diseases like gastroesophogeal reflux disease [GERD] and also to understand Barrett's esophagus, a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma and how to reverse that before it becomes cancer."

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184315.htm

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