First developed as an accessible abridgement of the successful Handbook of Stem Cells, this book serves the needs of the evolving population of scientists, researchers, practitioners and students that are embracing the latest advances in adult and embryonic stem cell research. Since the last edition was published, stem cell research has evolved into an important research tool, and stem cells have come to represent potential salvation for many people suffering from incurable diseases. Dr. Lanza is a prominent figure not only in the world of life sciences but is recognized publicly through the broad media coverage of his research.
Reviewer:Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD(Thomas Jefferson University)
Description:Development proceeds from clusters of self-renewing stem cells to beautiful arrays of complex tissues. As the mechanisms for differentiation are gradually revealed, stem cell-based therapies may transform medicine, providing replacement cells for patients with chronic diseases. This beautiful book provides a complete introduction to the theory and practice of stem cell research. Its 69 definitive chapters cover topics ranging from molecular bases of pluripotency and induced pluripotent stem cell derivation to spinal cord injury.
Purpose:According to the editors, the aim of this book is to provide "prerequisites for a general understanding of adult and embryonic stem cells; the ... experimental protocols needed to study and characterize stem cells...; as well as a presentation by the world's experts of what is currently known about each specific organ system." The editors and authors hope the book "will contribute to new therapies of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a wide variety of other diseases that presently afflict humanity." The book brings together the most productive authors and researchers in this exciting field.
Audience:The book is written for a broad audience of basic science and clinical researchers interested in developmental biology. It will appeal to those interested in adult stem cells as well as those interested in embryonic stem cells. Biomedical researchers interested in bioengineering, gene therapy, and oncology will also value this book for its insights into mechanisms of growth and differentiation.
Features:This full-color book is divided into six major sections covering basic stem cell biology, general methods, organ system-based applications, and regulations and ethics. The authors interpret and explain the literature. They document historical developments and provide examples of key laboratory findings. Prior knowledge of stem cell biology is not assumed. The preface includes thoughtful essays that help the novice gain an overview of the field. The methods section does not attempt to provide detailed protocols, but rather focuses on concepts and strategies. Each chapter provides an introduction, colorful headers, key words with definitions, and a short list of references for further reading. The full-color figures and illustrations are outstanding. A glossary of key words is included.
Assessment:This is the best book I've reviewed on stem cell biology. This updated second edition incorporates the latest advances in the field and features new chapters on direct reprogramming, cancer stem cells, and translational medicine. I particularly enjoyed learning about methods for deriving a wide variety of differentiated cells from mouse and human embryonic stem cells. This is the one book to have for anyone interested in the promise of stem cell research. It will provide an excellent resource for years to come.