Stem Cells Essay

Stem cells are cells that have the ability to self-renew and differentiate to become a myriad of different cell types. They serve as an internal repair system, with the purpose of replenishing or damaged cells. They can be found in various microenvironments within the tissues called stem cell niches cells, some examples of these include include the brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skin, teeth, heart, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord, etc. Typically, there are only a small number of stem cells in each tissue, and once they are removed their ability to divide and regenerate are limited. Stem cells, biologically, can constantly generate unaltered daughters, as well as have the ability to generate daughter cells will different and more restricted …show more content…
The two primary stem cells are Embryonic and Adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are derived from developing blastocyst, which is the embryo before implantation. Most of which are developed from eggs fertilized in vitro, which means crated artificially in a lab. They are capable of producing the various cell types and can proliferate for a year or more. Adult cells, on the other hand, are only multipotent and have limited potential to differentiate to cell types from their tissue of origin and do not proliferate for as long. However, adult stem cells can easily be reprogrammed to embryonic-like and become more pluripotent. Some other types of stem cells include: Hematopeitic (which gives rise to blood cells), Mesenchymal (which includes nerve cells, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes), Epithelial (which is located in the digestive tract), and skin (located at the basal layer of the epidermis and the base of the hair …show more content…
One way, is by a stem cell transplant, which turns the unspecialized embryonic stem cells into specialized adult cells. This can be used to replace any neurons damaged by spinal cord injuries, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Also stem cells can be used to produce insulin, which can treat people with diabetes as well as can produce heart muscle cells that can repair damage done after a heart attack. For spinal cord injuries, scientists have been working on recolonizing stem cells to the spinal cord in order to improve victim’s ability to move and feel. They have been experimenting with grafts of neural stem/ progenitor cells from marmoset monkeys, for they have similar nervous systems to human, and after taking embryonic stem cells and putting them into adult marmosets who suffered from bruised spinal cords they showed significant recovery of motor functions. Some side effects that have occurred during stem cell therapies such as signs of immune system rejection or tumors were not present. Recently adult stem cell treatments are being used to help recover from over 150 debilitating chronic conditions that were previously thought to be untreatable, with a 65% success

Related Documents