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Given that the most significant advances in the field of stem cell research have come within a single generation of investigation, it should come as no surprise that research teams led by the same visionary developmental biologist would be responsible for both the work that initially ignited the biomedical ethics debate over the implications of embryonic stem cell research and, within a decade, for the groundbreaking research that led to the most promising resolution of that same ethical conflict. Born just outside Chicago, James Alexander Thomson (1958– ) was intrigued in high school biology classes by the processes (and mysteries) of the human cell. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in biophysics in 1981. He was accepted into the prestigious Veterinary ...

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