Wow, a tremendous achievement has been accomplished by the stem cell community. We have officially surpassed 500,000 publications about stem cells on PubMed.gov! PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and NIH that comprises more than 27 million citations for biomedical literature. It is the largest and most comprehensive global database that exists for scientific publications anywhere in the world.
When BioInformant began tracking the stem cell industry 17 years ago in 2006, stem cell research was in its early days. Back in 2006, there had only been one-fifth as many scientific articles published about stem cells. Specifically, as of December 31, 2006, a mere 100,451 scientific publications about stem cells had been published through PubMed.gov.
Despite these humble beginnings, the stem cell community achieved an astounding milestone this month with the number of scientific publications about stem cells surging past 500,000. To validate this finding for yourself, use the search phrase (“stem cell” AND “stem cells”) on PubMed, as shown below.
For long-time readers of this site, you may remember that we previously announced when the stem cell community broke 300,000 scientific publications about stem cells in August of 2017.
That means approximately 200,000 publications about stem cells were published over the past six years, a truly impressive feat.
The Ever-Evolving Field of Stem Cell Research
As this explosion of scientific publications demonstrates, stem cell research has established itself as a critical and respected field of research. Stem cells have intrinsic properties that make them compelling across a diverse range of applications, ranging from cell therapy to drug discovery, toxicology testing, personalized medicine, disease modelling, tissue engineering, cultured meat production, and beyond.
Their remarkable ability to differentiate into various cell lineages and potential for self-renewal make them of profound interest to researchers, as well as clinicians, big pharma, investors, and the public at large. Stem cells also excrete large quantities of exosomes and extracellular vesicles (EVs) that appear to modulate many of their exciting effects. This means that research pertaining to stem cell derived exosomes and EVs is also on the rise.
These unique qualities have triggered the integration of stem cells into a diverse range of disciplines, including but not limited to regenerative medicine, developmental biology, molecular biology, and neurobiology (for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s diseases, and other neurodegenerative conditions).
Of course, stem cell research has matured tremendously in recent years. While the foundational notion of stem cells dates back to the mid-19th century, it was not until the past 40-50 years that scientific knowledge and experimental methodologies converged to enable comprehensive investigation and manipulation of these enigmatic cells. Stem cells have witnessed groundbreaking discoveries in recent years, but they have also experienced formidable challenges and had to navigate a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape—both in the U.S. and abroad.
Unfortunately, the number of U.S. FDA approved stem cell therapies still remains low, with hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) therapies derived from umbilical cord blood comprising the majority of these approvals to date.
Surpassing a Half Million Stem Cell Publications
Surpassing 500,000 scientific articles about stem cells on PubMed.gov is a tremendous accomplishment because it confirms the relentless commitment of the global scientific community to purse the untapped potential of these extraordinary cells. As stem cell research continues to unfold, it is clear that stem cells will continue to play a critical role in the future of human health.
To every single person who has contributed to this milestone, from researchers to clinicians, surgeons, patients, regulators, and investors, thank you for your contributions. Perhaps, more importantly, congratulations!
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