AAUW members learn about stem cell science

Dr. Robert Halliwell and AAUW Co-President Nancy Mellor.

At a recent meeting of AAUW, (The American Association of University Women), Dr. Robert Halliwell gave a presentation about his work on developments in stem cell science.

Dr. Halliwell explained that stem cells can self-renew and are able to differentiate into any of the 220 different types of cells in the human body.  Although embryonic stem cells can grow fast, duplicate quickly, and be used without fear of rejection, their use is considered controversial. Therefore other sources of stem cells are being explored. These include gathering stem cells from a dead body, and also harvesting the pulp from teeth extracted in dental procedures, to name just two examples.

Stem cells are of use and interest in drug discovery, regenerative medicine, invitro disease models such as Alzheimers or ALS, drug safety, and developmental biology.

A new drug now takes about 15 years, on average, to go from discovery to market at a cost that has now climbed above a billion dollars.

— Source: Marjorie Paulsen

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