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The new stem cell biology: something for everyone
  1. S L Preston1,
  2. M R Alison3,
  3. S J Forbes3,
  4. N C Direkze2,
  5. R Poulsom2,
  6. N A Wright1
  1. 1Department of Histopathology, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Turner Street, London E1 2AD, UK
  2. 2Department of Histopathology, Cancer Research UK, 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK
  3. 3Imperial College, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr SL Preston, Department of Histopathology, Cancer Research UK, 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK;


The ability of multipotential adult stem cells to cross lineage boundaries (transdifferentiate) is currently causing heated debate in the scientific press. The proponents see adult stem cells as an attractive alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine (the treatment of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, etc). However, opponents have questioned the very existence of the process, claiming that cell fusion is responsible for the phenomenon. This review sets out to provide a critical evaluation of the current literature in the adult stem cell field.

  • bone marrow
  • plasticity
  • review
  • stem cells
  • CNS, central nervous system
  • ES, embryonic stem
  • FAH, fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase
  • G-CSF, granulocyte colony stimulating factor
  • HSC, haemopoietic stem cell
  • ISEMF, intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts
  • KGF, keratinocyte growth factor
  • MSC, mesenchymal stem cell

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