The Stem Cell Uncertainty Principle

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):945-957 (2013)

Authors
Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah
Abstract
Stem cells are defined as having capacities for both self-renewal and differentiation. Many different entities satisfy this working definition. I show that this general stem cell concept is relative to a cell lineage, temporal duration, and characters of interest. Experiments specify values for these variables. So claims about stem cells must be understood in terms of experimental methods used to identify them. Furthermore, the stem cell concept imposes evidential constraints on interpretation of experimental results. From these constraints, it follows that claims about stem cell capacities are inherently uncertain. This result has important implications for stem cell research
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DOI 10.1086/674014
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Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Jeffrey S. Poland - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.

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Citations of this work BETA

Robust Realism for the Life Sciences.Markus I. Eronen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2341-2354.
Genidentity and Biological Processes.Thomas Pradeu - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
Generative Models: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Multiple Modeling Relations.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:122-134.
Crucial Stem Cell Experiments? Stem Cells, Uncertainty, and Single-Cell Experiments.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):183-205.

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