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Comment 01

Please cite this contribution as follows: dontworry. Right now, this topic of the Maximow contest is quite hot. Blog comment, Maximow Award contest, May 2012. Cell Ther Transplant/Maximow Award, May 2012;blog-comment_01. doi:10.3205/maximowaward_2012_blog-comment_01

This contribution is provided under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

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dontworry. May 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

Right now, this topic of the Maximow contest is quite hot. Too many people working in biomedicine use the term “stem cell” in a very wide sense. In many cases, this term is extended to many cell populations that may be ineffective and even dangerous to the patient receiving cell therapy.

Meanwhile, the word “stem cell” simply means an ancestor blood-generating cell occuring in early embryonal life of higher animals. The term “stem cell(s)” was born in hard discussions about common predecessors for different blood populations. A number of famous (mostly, German) scientists, from R. Virchow to A. Pappenheim and A. Maximow, had in mind the concept of a stem cell (last 1/3 of XIX century). The only issue was to identify and characterize these predecessors of mature blood cells.

This proved to be possible only by new methods of differential cell staining and advancement in developmental biology, during the first decade of the 20th century. Later, throughout the next 100 years, the term “stem cell” in blood research did not change its meaning as a seminal element of a phylogenetic tree. By now, however, it is very much better defined since specific biological markers are known for every step of stem cell differentiation, from Maximow’s “large lymphocytes” resident in hemopoietic organs to a variety of quite mature red and white cell populations scattered in our tissues. Hence, I hypothesize that the discussion may address comparative properties and biomarkers of stem cells at initial/very early stages of their growth and differentiation.

This contribution is provided under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Please cite this contribution as follows: dontworry. Right now, this topic of the Maximow contest is quite hot. Blog comment, Maximow Award contest, May 2012. Cell Ther Transplant/Maximow Award, May 2012;blog-comment_01. doi:10.3205/maximowaward_2012_blog-comment_01

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