Stem cells are the foundation for every organ and tissue in your body. There are many different types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed at different times in our lives. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development and various types of tissue-specific or adult stem cells that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout life.
Stem cells are special human cells that have the ability to develop into many different cell types, from muscle cells to brain cells. In some cases, they also have the ability to repair damaged tissues. Researchers believe that stem cell-based therapies may one day be used to treat devastating ailments like paralysis and Alzheimer's disease.
Jump to navigation. For many years, researchers have been seeking to understand the body's ability to repair and replace the cells and tissues of some organs, but not others. After years of work pursuing the how and why of seemingly indiscriminant cell repair mechanisms, scientists have now focused their attention on adult stem cells.
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Stem cells and derived products offer great promise for new medical treatments. Learn about stem cell types, current and possible uses, ethical issues, and the state of research and practice. You've heard about stem cells in the news, and perhaps you've wondered if they might help you or a loved one with a serious disease.
Fortino, Jordan Greenberg and Herman S. Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells defined by their abilities to self-renew and differentiate into mature cells.
Most cells in the body are differentiated cells. These cells can only serve a specific purpose in a particular organ. For example, red blood cells are specifically designed to carry oxygen through the blood.
Stem cells are self-renewing, unspecialised cells that can give rise to multiple cell types of all tissues of the body. They can be derived from the embryo, foetus and adult. The ability of stem cells to divide but also to differentiate to specialised cell types like nerve and muscle, have made them candidates on which to base therapies for diseases and disorders for which no, or only partially effective, therapies are available.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Research into adult stem cells has been fueled by their abilities to divide or self-renew indefinitely and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate — potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is not controversial because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo.