In light of the Nobel Prize in medicine for stem cell research, a reminder of just how limited are the current and potential (in the near future) clinical uses. Quote:
The International Society for Stem Cell Research says that while there are hundreds of conditions that can purportedly be treated with stem cells, the treatments that have actually been shown to be beneficial are “extremely limited.” Aside from the cancer treatments mentioned above, some bone, skin and corneal conditions have been treated by grafting stem cells, growing them in the lab and transplanting them.
But in all these cases, the stem cells are tissue-specific, meaning the cells are carrying out a function they were designed to do. This is very different from the notion that undifferentiated stem cells can be used to treat a broad range of conditions.(And we won’t delve into potential problems, such as rejection and the concern that stem cells could grow out of control and cause cancerous tumours.)