Crucial Stem Cell Experiments? Stem Cells, Uncertainty, and Single-Cell Experiments


Authors
Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah
Abstract
I have previously argued that stem cell experiments cannot demonstrate that a single cell is a stem cell. Laplane and others dispute this claim, citing experiments that identify stem cells at the singlecell level. This paper rebuts the counterexample, arguing that the alleged ‘crucial stem cell experiments’ do not measure self-renewal for a single cell, do not establish a single cell’s differentiation potential, and, if interpreted as providing results about single cells, fall into epistemic circularity. I then discuss the source of the dispute, locating it in differences between philosophical and experimental perspectives
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0495-4548  
DOI 10.1387/theoria.12707
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