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A Scientific Explanation Of Stem Cells And Stem Cell Research

562 words - 2 pages

In general, a cell can be defined as a stem cell if two basic criteria are met. First, stem cell is capable of self renewal for indefinite period throughout life while maintaining undifferentiated state, i.e., the cell can divide and produce two identical daughter cells and thereby maintains the stem cell pool. Second, stem cell possesses capacity for differentiate into specialised and functional progeny under the right conditions, or given the right signals. It may divide asymmetrically to yield an identical cell and a daughter cell that acquires a particular cell type’s properties, such as morphology, phenotype and functional physiology that classified it belongs to a particular tissue (Burns and Zon 2002; Preston et al. 2003).

Stem cell also can be classified into a hierarchy according to its differentiation potential (Figure 1). On the very top of the hierarchy is the totipotent stem cell. This cell is able to give rise to all kind of cell which constitute the embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues and then contribute to the entire organism, (e.g. the fertilized egg or zygote). The next level is the pluripotent stem cell (embryonic stem cell and embryonic germ cell) that is capable to form all tissues of the embryonic germ layer but do not contribute the formation of placenta or extra-embryonic tissues. Multipotent stem cell, on the other hand, can be derived from various adult organs and differentiate into lineages restricted cells of their germ (e.g. haemopoietic stem cell and mesenchymal stem cells). Finally, the derivative of differentiated multipotent stem cell-unipotent progenitor cell. This cell is already committed to tissue specific differentiation (e.g. myeloid progenitor and lymphoid progenitor).

There is also a population of cell found within a tumour that presented...

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