Stem Cell Research
What are stem cells, and why are scientists so interested in them?
|That is, stem cells have the potential to develop into mature cells that have characteristic shapes and specialized functions, such as heart cells, skin cells, or nerve cells." Scientist envision drawing from "lines" of stem cells-colonies of similar cells that can replicate for long periods-to create new specialized cells for transplant into patients, to repair or replace tissues that disease and disability have damaged.|
|Where are stem cells found?
In the adult organism ("adult" referring to humans or animals at any point after birth) stem cells are found in the bone marrow, blood stream, brain, spinal cord, dental pulp, skeletal muscle, skin, gastrointestinal tract, cornea, retina, liver and pancreas. Another rich source of stem cells is the blood within the umbilical cords and placentas no longer needed by newborn babies. New research shows human fat contains stem cells.
The stem cells receiving the most public attention are found within the human embryos. Researchers harvest these cells by pulling the "inner cell mass," the 30-34 cells that will develop into the baby's tissues and organs, from the center of a five-day-old embryo.
What is the problem with stem cell research?
Is the enthusiasm for embryonic stem cell research justified?
What is the current state of research on adult stem cells?
Stem Cell Harvesting
Facts & Fallacies
Adult Stem Cells
Embryonic Stem Cells
5 Day Embryo - Inner Cell Mass Removed, Embryo Destroyed
|Have helped patients with:
· Multiple Sclerosis
· Sickle Cell Disease
· Repairing heart damage
· Diminished symptoms in Parkinson's
· Restoring movement to spinal cord injuries
· Repairing damaged cartilage
· Growing new corneas to restore sight
· Growing new blood vessels in limbs with gangrene
Have helped patients with: