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Why are stem cells used in medical research?

"Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent stem cells. They can replicate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types. The differentiation ability of hESCs into committed cell types is potentially valuable for studying cellular and molecular events involved in early human development under physiological and pathological conditions, which is almost impossible to perform in humans." (Xiaowen Bai, MD, PhD, et al., "Ketamine Enhances Human Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Induces Neuronal Apoptosis via Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Mitochondrial Pathway," Anesthesia & Analgesia, April 2013, pp. 869-880.)

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