The investment of "substantial" resources into a given field of research can reap "hugely positive" benefits, says the Canadian Stem Cell Network's David Kent on the organization's blog. In stem cell biology, money has been invested by governments and private institutions the world over, ensuring that the field progressed more rapidly and with "greater diversity" than could have been accomplished otherwise, Kent says. "Indeed, this investment has launched a decade of intensive training and cross-fertilization that has been at the leading edge of inter-disciplinary research," he adds. Major organizations like the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have been formed, as well as large collaborative networks like the Canadian and UK Stem Cell Networks. "The stem cell field today is a buzzing arena of chemical and biomedical engineers, physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists thinking about things like bioreactors for cell expansion and growth, micro-scale cultures to analyze thousands of conditions simultaneously, and the whether or not stem cell fate decisions are random," Kent says. Such efforts show that when money, resources, and time are invested in research, it will continue to grow and attract new researchers with new ideas, he adds.
Feb 15, 2011