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Jim and the Forgotten Embryos

A Case on Stem Cell-Based Therapy

Miriam Segura-Totten
Department of Biology
University of North Georgia


We are a recipient of a 2004 National Dissemination grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education and has been cited as a source for model case studies by the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science




2004 National Dissemination grant, National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education, NSF, National Science Digital Library, NSDL, American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, National Research Council, NRC, Biology2010

Educational Level




Type Methods




Subject Headings

Biology (General) Biotechnology Cell Biology

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.


Francis Sullivan
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Denver, CO
I do like this case study. I am now introducing case studies in my Human Biology class for non-science majors, Among the activities of the class, students write a number of reports during the semester. One of them is entitled "What is stem cell research?" In it, students describe the characteristics of stem cells, the various kinds of stem cells, and the various degrees of potency of stem cells. I provide them with several Internet addresses for material. I ask them to stay away from their opinion on the ethics of stem cell research. My interest is to provide the students with sufficient information about stem cells so that they can address the ethics of stem cell research in their philosophy courses. We discuss this report in class.

Nicole Benenati
Ithaca High School
Ithaca, NY
I modified the case a little to include a visit to to find out what other options were available for the patient. This case helped students better understand stem cells and the role of clinical trials in research. We also discussed the benefits and risks of participation in a study.