Crucial stem cell experiments? Stem cells, uncertainty, and single-cell experiments

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Published Jun 20, 2015
Melinda Fagan

Abstract

I have previously argued that stem cell experiments cannot demonstrate that a single cell is a stem cell (Fagan 2013a, b). Laplane and others dispute this claim, citing experiments that identify stem cells at the single-cell 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.

How to Cite

Fagan, M. (2015). Crucial stem cell experiments? Stem cells, uncertainty, and single-cell experiments. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 30(2), 183–205. https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.12707
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Keywords

experiment, stem cells, models in science, crucial experiments, uncertainty

Section
MONOGRAPHIC SECTION