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Nat Biotechnol. 2005 Jun;23(6):699-708.

Characterization and culture of human embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Robarts Research Institute, 100 Perth Drive, London, Ontario N6A 5K8, Canada.


Human embryonic stem cells have been defined as self-renewing cells that can give rise to many types of cells of the body. How and whether these cells can be manipulated to replace cells in diseased tissues, used to screen drugs and toxins, or studied to better understand normal development, however, depends on knowing more about their fundamental properties. Many different human embryonic stem cell lines--which are pluripotent, proliferate indefinitely in vitro and maintain a normal, euploid karyotype over extended culture--have now been derived, but whether these cell lines are in fact equivalent remains unclear. It will therefore be important to define robust criteria for the assessment of both existing and newly derived cell lines and for the validation of new culture conditions.

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