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What are Stem Cells

Wikipedia tells us that Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterised by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialised cell types.

The two broad types of mammalian stem cells are: embryonic stem cells that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells that are found in adult tissues (we have Adult stem cells as soon as we are born).

In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all of the specialised embryonic tissues.

In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing specialised cells, but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues.

Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialised cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies.

Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies.

Health is essentially a balance between cellular loss and cellular renewal.

Every tissue of the body loses and replaces cells, and each tissue does so at a different rate. As we age beyond our mid 20s our body's ability to produce adult stem cells declines. Repair and replacement of sick or damaged tissues takes longer, healing can take longer, and a slowing down of the renewal of tissues begins to occur . I suppose we would generally call this process.... ageing!

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DISCLAIMER: We do not offer medical advice or claim any of this information will provide you with a cure, treatment or alleviation of any disease or condition. See your doctor/practitioner and if you believe their advice follow it. The comments above are to help you gain an insight into the potential or possible benefits of stem cells.
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