British science writer Ed Yong has compiled a nifty interactive time line charting the course of research into induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. These cells are created by tinkering with the gene expression patterns of specialized adult cells, often from skin, but also from neurons and a host of other tissues. It's fascinating to see how the research progresses as scientists learn first of the ability to make such cells, and then begin to explore their potential therapeutic uses.
Yong explains on his blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science:
This timeline was inspired by John Rennie’s manifesto on how to improve science journalism, by looking at the stories that lead up to new discoveries, rather than focusing on every new paper in isolation.
John Rennie is a former editor-in-chief for Scientific American, and his "manifesto", by the way, is worth a look as well, particularly if you're a science writer, a researcher who deals with the media, or a member of the public trying to better understand how science news gets disseminated in today's world.
Also, thanks to Ed for doing all the leg work here. Might I suggest a few other topics that would benefit me - er, I mean, mankind? I'd like to see one of these on embryonic stem cells, cancer stem cells, and... the list goes on. And if you're a Twitter user, you can follow Ed at @edyong209. He almost always has something interesting to say.
Go forth and read!