Panning for pancreatic stem cells

Thanks to their much-lauded potential in treating a variety of debilitating diseases, and their recent isolation, human embryonic stem (ES) cells1 have been the focus of a great deal of attention over the past several months. And yet we are startlingly ignorant of the biology of stem cells and their differentiation; an intimate appreciation of these is required to realize therapeutic aspirations. A timely meeting * in mid-April brought together investigators with expertise in stem cell biology and developmental biology of the pancreas as a first step to harness stem cells in the treatment of diabetes.

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    *Stem Cells and Pancreatic Development. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, April 10-11, 2000


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