"Within a population of bacteria there exists a subgroup of cells that do not grow at the normal rate but exists in a quiescent, non-growing or slow-growing state. These cells are sometimes called persister cells , because they are able to persist in the face of catastrophic events such as antibiotic treatment...A key aspect of persister cells is that their resistance to antibiotic treatment is not genetically determined. Consequently, following antibiotic treatment, persisters give rise to new populations that have the same vulnerability to antibiotic treatment as the ancestral population ."
Sound familiar stem-cell believers? Slow growth, resistance to insult, and capable of repopulating diverse cell types. OK, so maybe bacteria have stem cells too. Maybe we should even think of them as multicellular organisms. But wait, now for the challenge to faith:
"The resistance of persister cells is therefore determined phenotypically, with cells switching between the alternative phenotypic states of persistence and normal growth , ."
What the !@#$& ?? Cells shape-shifting back and forth? Stem cell one minute, non-stem cell the next? Clearly mammalian cells are different. Once a stem cell always a stem cell. Right? Wrong. The stochastic outcome of asymetric stem cell division was one of the first properties described by McCulloch and Till soon after they discovered mammalian stem cells waaaaay back in the day.
Obviously then, "stem" cells do not exist....then they do....then they don't, then they do....
Wave....particle.....wave....no, particle....no it's a wave....
Maybe it's not that bad. At least one might say there's a certain probability that a given cell will be "stem" at a certain point in space-time?