What Is A Stem Cell? Essay

758 Words Jan 21st, 2016 4 Pages
Stem Cell Paper
Ajdin Islamovic

What is a stem cell?

Stem Cells have potentials to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or it’ll become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Stem cells have two important characteristics: First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after a long period of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. In some organs, the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly split to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues.

In other organs such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions. Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst- they’re the start of all life/ advanced life, they’re multiple cells. The inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lungs, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear,…

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