Stem cells are cells with the possible to produce into numerous different kinds of cells in the entire body
There are 3 known available sources of autologous grownup stem cells in humans: bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood. Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just soon after birth. Of all stem cell treatment types, autologous harvesting involves the least danger.
Adult stem cells are frequently utilised in a variety of health care therapies (e.g., bone marrow transplantation). Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell types with qualities consistent with cells of a variety of tissues this kind of as muscles or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells created by way of somatic cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for long term therapies. Analysis into stem cells grew out of findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Until at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.
Stem cells are cells with the potential to produce into a lot of different types of cells in the body. They serve as a restore program for the body. There are two major types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and grownup stem cells.
Stem cells are different from other cells in the body in 3 ways:
- They can divide and renew themselves more than a long time
- They are unspecialized, so they can’t do distinct functions in the body
- They have the potential to turn into specialized cells, this kind of as muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells
Physicians and scientists are thrilled about stem cells since they could aid in a lot of different areas of overall health and health care research. Learning stem cells could aid clarify how critical conditions this kind of as birth defects and cancer come about. Stem cells could a single day be utilised to make cells and tissues for treatment of a lot of diseases. Examples consist of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord damage, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
How can stem cells treat disease?
When most individuals consider about about stem cells treating disease they consider of a stem cell transplant.
In a stem cell transplant, embryonic stem cells are initial specialized into the essential grownup cell sort. Then, those mature cells exchange tissue that is damaged by disease or damage. This sort of therapy could be utilised to:
- exchange neurons damaged by spinal cord damage, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological issues
- make insulin that could treat individuals with diabetes and heart muscle cells that could restore damage soon after a heart attack or
- exchange almost any tissue or organ that is injured or diseased.
But embryonic stem cell-based therapies can do a lot more.
- Learning how stem cells produce into heart muscle cells could offer clues about how we could induce heart muscle to restore itself soon after a heart attack.
- The cells could be utilised to research disease, determine new drugs, or screen drugs for toxic side effects.
Any of these would have a considerable influence on human overall health without having transplanting a single cell.
In theory, there is no restrict to the types of diseases that could be taken care of with stem cell research. Offered that researchers could be able to research all cell types via embryonic stem cells, they have the potential to make breakthroughs in any disease.
CIRM has created disease pages for a lot of of the major diseases currently being targeted by stem cell scientists. You can locate those disease pages here.
You can also sort our total list of CIRM awards to see what we have funded in different disease areas.