Photos: Courtesy of Stephen Minger

TOP: An umbilical cord blood plant outside Beijing; BOTTOM: Part of the $7.5 million-per-year stem cell laboratory in Korea.

One day early in November, all the doors of Stephen Minger's lab at King's College London were getting a fresh lick of pink paint in preparation for a royal visit. Queen Elizabeth's daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal, is making an upcoming appearance to officially open the swanky new Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases.

Minger, an American expatriot who is now one of the UK's highest-profile stem cell researchers, is just one of the scientists who scored a nicely outfitted cluster of labs in the building. High-end equipment in a British stem cell lab will not come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the constant reminders that the United Kingdom is leading the way in that field. But if you think this is...

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