Understandably, just that phrase evokes all kinds of different reactions from people.
They might reflect a preference in favor of a particular type of stem. Or against another type. There is fear, anger, excitement, greed and hope.
All kinds of emotions.
There are also some popular myths and urban legends about stem cells that feed some of the cultural and emotional reactions to stem cells.
Here's my top 10 list of stem cell myths and urban legends for 2012 based on reader feedback to my stem cell blog on stem cells so far this year.
10. There are stem cells in Pepsi.
9. iPS cells will solve all our problems and end the stem cell debate.
8. ES cells are derived from abortions.
7. Adult stem cell treatments are by definition safe.
6. ES cells are a panacea.
5. Science has proven that life begins at conception and zygotes are persons.
4. Sports stars have been demonstrably helped by stem cells.
3. What is good news for adult stem cell research must be bad for embryonic stem cell research, and vice versa.
2. Patient testimonials can substitute for clinical trials.
1. The FDA and Big Pharma have a secret, evil plot to suppress stem cell research.