Stem cells are cells that can differentiate into other types of cells, and can also divide in self-renewal to produce more of the same type of stem cells. In mammalsthere are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cellswhich are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts in early embryonic development, and adult stem cellswhich are found in various tissues of fully developed mammals. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.
The first tissue-engineered trachea windpipeutilising the patient's own stem cells, has been successfully transplanted into a young woman with a failing airway. The bioengineered trachea immediately provided the patient with a normally functioning airway, thereby saving her life. These remarkable results provide crucial new evidence that adult stem cells, combined with biologically compatible materials, can offer genuine solutions to other serious illnesses.
Jump to navigation. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.
Stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases. Here, discover why these cells are such a powerful tool for treating disease—and what hurdles experts face before new therapies reach patients. How can stem cells treat disease?
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Photos: History of stem cells.
Stem cell studies have been conducted to study characteristics of stem cells, to develop better techniques for patient-specific stem cell lines generation, and to explore the therapeutic potential of stem cells. Techniques that enable efficient generation of new stem cell lines would facilitate research and allow generation of patient-specific stem cell lines for transplantation therapy. Somatic-Cell Nuclear Transfer SCNTwhich involves injection of donor cell nucleus into enucleated ovum, is the standard technique for new embryonic stem ES cell lines generation; presently its efficiency is low.
In a leap toward making stem cell therapy widely available, researchers at the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College WCMC have discovered that endothelial cells, the most basic building blocks of the vascular system, produce growth factors that can grow copious amounts of adult stem cells and their progeny over the course of weeks. The finding will likely revolutionize the use of adult stem cells for bone marrow transplants, organ regeneration, and therapies for hearts, brains, skin and lungs, say the researchers. Until now, adult stem cell cultures would die within four or five days despite best efforts to grow them.
Scientists have found a way to make an almost limitless supply of stem cells that could safely be used in patients while avoiding the ethical dilemma of destroying embryos. In a breakthrough that could have huge implications, British and Canadian scientists have found a way of reprogramming skin cells taken from adults, effectively winding the clock back on the cells until they were in an embryonic form. The work has been hailed as a major step forward by scientists and welcomed by pro-life organisations, who called on researchers to halt other experiments which use stem cells collected from embryos made at IVF clinics. The team has made great progress and combining this work with that of other scientists working on stem cell differentiation, there is hope that the promise of regenerative medicine could soon be met.
The results have been published in the journal Cell Cycle. Stem cells are specialized, undifferentiated cells that can divide and have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, they serve as a sort of internal repair system in many tissues, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells.
In an effort to understand how disease functions and how to counter its destructive effect on human life, scientists have been conducting Stem Cell Research since the early s. Stem cells are cells that can become many different kinds of tissue. There has long been interest in using them to replace cells damaged by disease and even to grow transplant organs with them.