There are various ways to obtain more information on stem cells and you may wish to keep abreast of the newest developments in the field. For those who are suffering from diseases that stem cells are currently treating such as leukaemia, your interest may be more immediate.
You might currently be receiving stem cell transplant therapy and wish to understand more on the topic. Unfortunately, doctors do not always describe procedures in layman’s terms and it can be confusing to understand how the therapies work.
You or a loved one may be suffering from a disease that may one day be helped by stem cells and the provision of information can possibly offer some hope.
Students may be researching the topic for school or university and will find use for further investigation into stem cells and the issues surrounding the topic. Still others may simply be curious or intrigued by the controversy and debate surrounding stem cells, and so may want to delve a little more deeply into the ethics of stem cells.
Newspapers and magazines with a science focus often cover stem cell developments, although these may be represented with somewhat of a sensationalistic tone. Radio is another area and this can include online and traditional formats. It’s a good idea to check your local library for free viewing of current magazines and you can always photocopy clips of interest to take home.
The Internet is actually a wealth of information but a great deal of this can be misinformation. It’s wise to check the credibility of sites by looking for those that are represented and funded by the government or those that are non-profit registered scientific agencies. Many sites now promote drugs or other products under the guise of providing information so it can be quite helpful to learn about the founders of the site.
Some websites that you may find interesting include:
- Department of Health: http://www.dh.gov.uk
- Royal Society: http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk
- UK Stem Cell Bank: http://www.ukstemcellbank.org.uk
- East of England Stem Cell Network: http://www.eescn.org.uk
- UK Stem Cell Foundation: http://domain883347.sites.fasthosts.com
- UK National Stem Cell Network: http://www.uknscn.org
- Scottish Stem Cell Network: http://www.sscn.co.uk
- Medical Research Council: http://www.mrc.ac.uk
- International Society For Stem Cell Research: http://www.isscr.org
In addition, you may find that animations communicate the topic of stem cells much more effectively. The following site might add some clarity to the subject:
Stem Cell Research Foundation: http://www.stemcellresearchfoundation.org/WhatsNew/EmbryonicStemCells.htm
University websites can also provide valuable information and it tends to be quite current. Many have online ‘primers’ that are available for students and the public. These can be helpful for extending your knowledge and interest and they are usually presented in a format that is clear and understandable to a non-scientist reader.
If you’re interested in reading more about stem cells the old fashioned way, you can start with one of the books below. All of the books were published after the year 2000. With stem cell advancements changing so frequently, it’s helpful to focus reading on the most current resources if you wish to obtain the most recent information. All of the books are recommended by the International Society For Stem Cell Research and are a good way to broaden your understanding without getting lost in the technical aspects of stem cells. They are written for a non-scientist audience and should provide some depth on the subject. Consider reading any of the following:
- Proteus Effect: Stem Cells And Their Promise In Medicine
- Parkinson’s Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families
- Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplants: A Guide for Patients
- The Human Cloning Debate
- Understanding DNA and Gene Cloning: A Guide for the Curious
It’s helpful to stay aware of developments in the field of stem cells, particularly if you or a loved one suffers from a serious disease that stem cell therapy may benefit. It’s also important that the public is aware of the issues surrounding stem cell research because the public eye can help promote ethical, safe and transparent research.