Over the past few years, research on animal and human stem cells has experienced tremendous advances which are almost daily loudly revealed to the public on the front-page of newspapers. Currently, these diseases have slightly or non-efficient treatment options, and millions of people around the world are desperately waiting to be cured. However, conflicting ethical controversies surround this new medicine approach, inside and outside the medical community, especially when human embryonic stem cells h-ESCs are concerned.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Research into adult stem cells has been fueled by their abilities to divide or self-renew indefinitely and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate — potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is not controversial because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo.
Jump to navigation. Human embryonic and adult stem cells each have advantages and disadvantages regarding potential use for cell-based regenerative therapies. One major difference between adult and embryonic stem cells is their different abilities in the number and type of differentiated cell types they can become.
Stem cells are self-renewing, unspecialised cells that can give rise to multiple cell types of all tissues of the body. They can be derived from the embryo, foetus and adult. The ability of stem cells to divide but also to differentiate to specialised cell types like nerve and muscle, have made them candidates on which to base therapies for diseases and disorders for which no, or only partially effective, therapies are available.
Most cells in the body are differentiated cells. These cells can only serve a specific purpose in a particular organ. For example, red blood cells are specifically designed to carry oxygen through the blood.
Stem cells are the foundation for every organ and tissue in your body. There are many different types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed at different times in our lives. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development and various types of tissue-specific or adult stem cells that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout life.
So what's the advantage of using stem cells from the embryo that have been reprogrammed in this way? The main advantage is that you can derive a greater variety of cell types. Embryonic stem cells, as they are called, have the potential to be any body cell.
Stem cells are special human cells that have the ability to develop into many different cell types, from muscle cells to brain cells. In some cases, they also have the ability to repair damaged tissues. Researchers believe that stem cell-based therapies may one day be used to treat devastating ailments like paralysis and Alzheimer's disease.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cellsfound throughout the body after development, that multiply by cell division to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Scientific interest in adult stem cells is centered on their ability to divide or self-renew indefinitely, and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate, potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. They have mainly been studied in humans and model organisms such as mice and rats.