This review highlights major scientific developments over the past 50 years or so in concepts related to stem-cell ecology and to stem cells in motion. Many thorough and eloquent reviews have been presented in the last 5 years updating progress in these issues. Some paradigms have been challenged, others validated, or new ones brought to light. In the present review, we will confine our remarks to the historical development of progress. In doing so, we will refrain from a detailed analysis of controversial data, emphasizing instead widely accepted views and some challenging novel ones.

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David Scadden’s laboratory is dedicated to discovering the principles governing blood cell production, with the ultimate goal of guiding the development of therapies for blood disorders and cancer.

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