Biology's Uncertainty Principle

What is a stem cell depends on context

You’ve heard of stem cell research and its promise of a medical revolution given the regenerative abilities of stem cells. But as it turns out, identifying what a stem cell is experimentally is not at all straightforward. Stem cells have two main abilities: cell renewal (division and reproduction) and cell differentiation (development into more specialized cells). The main problem is, there is no way to experimentally test whether one particular cell can both self-renew and differentiate to make more developed kinds of cells. Much like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, according to which we can’t measure a particle’s velocity and position at the same time, we can’t measure both properties that constitute a stem cell. Claims that any single cell is a stem cell are therefore inevitably uncertain, argues Melinda Bonnie Fagan.


The term “stem cell,” like so many others in biology, was introduced by Ernst Haeckel. In Haeckel’s speculative vision,

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation

patrick maina 3 July 2022

Here is my story. grateful
My wife was diagnosed with a cancer, ( before i learnt of Rick Simpsons oil
/ RSO ) the hospital said to do chemotherapy and radiotherapy.. she did..
and went through a lot.. but no cure, after a while the doctors said the
cancer was spreading and we could look for alternatives.. i searched the
internet and found out about the oil.. asked a lot of questions.. watched
the videos etc.. we made the oil our selves but it couldn't just work out
we were doing more harm than good and the cancer was still there spreading,
i searched more on the internet i found a testimony on how a lady got the
oil via a website: naturalricksimpsoncannabisoil. com
immediately copied the email address on the website: i wrote to the very email
on the website: naturalricksimpsoncannabisoil. com and in an hour later i
got a reply back asking me some few questions, and enlightened me on how to
get the oil in the next 48hours, i placed my order and in the next 48hours
the medication oil got to us. immediately my wife started using the oil, it
been two months now, since my wife has been using the medication oil and
the cancerous problems are gone this very fact was clarified by the doctor.

i put up this piece of testimony for the sake of those once who need this
oil to please don't die in silence their is a cure for your cancer today
website: naturalricksimpsoncannabisoil. com and get the oil.