at this point will be whether ES cells not derived from the patient will be rejected by the patient's immune system. If so, one strategy for dealing with this problem would be to use a patient's own cells to create an embryo by nuclear transfer, from which ES cells compatible with that patient could then be derived.

The use of human blastocysts in both research and therapy remains controversial because it is necessary to destroy the blastocyst to generate an ES cell line from it. As a result, work with human embryos is governed by strict regulations in many countries. see also Gene Targeting; Marker Systems; Reproductive Technology; Rodent Models; Transgenic Animals.

Seth G. N. Grant and Douglas J. C. Strathdee


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Holland, Suzanne, Karen Lebacqz, and Laurie Zoloth, eds. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. New York: MIT Press, 2001.

Juengst, Eric, and Michael Fossel. "The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cells—Now and Forever, Cells without End." Journal of the American Medical Association 284 (2000): 3180-3184.

Migaud, M., "Enhanced Long-Term Potentiation and Impaired Learning in Mice with Mutant Postsynaptic Density-95 Protein." Nature 396 (1998): 433-439.

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Epidemiologists are scientists that study the factors influencing the health status of populations. These populations may be defined by geography (such as the residents of a particular city), occupation (such as members of the armed forces), or any other common trait (such as age, race, or sex). Epidemiologists look for trends in measures of the health of the population, such as the average life span, the leading causes of death, and the number of cases of a disease that are found in the population. To determine what causes certain trends or health problems, epidemiologists collect large amounts of data about individuals in the population. They analyze these data to determine who is sick, when they got sick, and what factors the sick people have in common. The process is similar to that which investigators use to search for clues to solve a crime. Thus, epidemiologists are often described as "disease detectives."

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