Stem Cells Across The Curriculum

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Stem Cell Therapy Video (Wake Forest U)


Image: Wake Forest University.
Video: Nova. ScienceNow.Feb 26, 2011. Replacing Body Parts.(13:35 min) Link

This collection of video and text resources reviews the emerging field of stem cell-based therapies and the balance between hope and hype. The journalistic investigations conducted by CBS 60 minutes reveal fraudulent practices that leave those seeking care in financial debt and emotional distress. Bioethicist Insoo Hyun explores the context that leads to the practice of stem cell tourism whereby those in spiritual distress seeking therapeutic hope are exploited by an unregulated industry offering stem cell transplants.  Hyun is careful to distinguish therapeutic hope from therapeutic misconception and offers resources such as “spiritual assessment guides” designed to assist healthcare professionals in providing adequate care and consultation. Despite the false advertising of some companies, stem cell researchers are making advances in stem cell transplant therapy using fat from liposuction,organ development in vitro using animal and synthetic scaffolds, and tissue regeneration in vivo stimulated by factors and architecture in the extracellular matrix (ECM). The International Society for Stem Cell Research created a web resource designed to provide guidance to those living with disease and disability in making informed decisions regarding stem cell therapies.  This site, A Closer Look At Stem Cells, originally listed all clinics and companies that made claims but failed to follow through with evidence that their therapies were legitimate. However, that portion of the website was removed due to liability threats. The Fountain and Singh resources highlight biomedical research funded by the military to rebuild soldiers living with disability after experiencing war related injuries. Together the resources highlight innovation while highlighting  the experimental and expensive nature of these techniques which currently make them inaccessible to those who might need them the most.


  1. Video: CBS 60 Minutes 21st Century Snake Oil Sept. 12, 2010:  Part 1 Patients.(13:23 min) Link
  2. Video: CBS 60 Minutes 21st Century Snake Oil Sept. 12, 2010:  Part 2 Reveal. (12:01 min) Link
  3. Video: 60 Minutes. July 25, 2010. Growing Body Parts. (12:33 min)Link
  4. Video: Nova. ScienceNow.Feb 26, 2011. Replacing Body Parts.(13:35 min) Link
  5. Video: Regenestem.Aug 7, 2012. Adipose Derived Stem Cells YouTube. (2:11 min) Link
  6. Video: Singh, V. Sept. 17, 2012. Extracellular Matrix. New  York Times. Video/Health (4:23 min). Link
  7. Video: Aug 31, 2013. Mini Human “Brain” grown in lab. Dnews. YouTube. (2:47min)Link
  8. Video: Yong, Ed. April 13, 2014.  Lab-grown kidneys transplanted in rats. NatureVideo. (3:14 min) Link
  9. Video: Oct 30, 2014. Stem Cells Used To Make Mini Human Stomach. GoBeatsnews.Youtube. (1:15 min) Link
  10. News: Fountain, H. Sept. 16, 2012. Human Muscle, Regrown On Animal Scaffolding. Part of the Body Builders Series. New York Times:A1 (4:23 min). Link
  11. Article: Hyun, I. 2013. Therapeutic hope, spiritual distress, and the problem of stem cell tourism. Cell. 12: 505-507. Link
  12. Website: A Closer Look at Stem Cells. International Society for Stem Cell Research.Link
  13. News: Willyard, C. July 29, 2015. The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys, and more. Link
  14. Video Northwestern University. March 28, 2017. Female menstrual cycle in a dish: 'EVATAR'. YouTube Link