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All About Stem Cells Essay

1602 words - 7 pages

Science Project: Stem Cells Info
Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Commonly, stem cells come from two main sources: Embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development (embryonic stem cells) and Adult tissue (adult stem cells.)
Why are they important?
In many tissues, they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Basically they can replace any damaged cell of any specific function or purpose and take over that function.

What are some unique properties?
All stem cells—regardless of their source—have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types. And carry out the function of that cell it is replacing.

Research into stem cells grew out of the findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till at the University of Toronto in the 1960s. New research is continuing to uncover the amazing abilities of the stem cells.

Types of Stem Cells
There are three main types of Stem Cells:
1. embryonic stem cells
2. adult stem cells
3. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Most embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro—in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. These type of stem cells require special signals to be given to them before they can differentiate. If they are just purely injected they can differentiate into many different cells.Embryonic Stem Cells are a potential source for tissue replacement after cuts/injuries.

Adult Stem Cells
An adult stem cell is an undifferentiated cell, found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ that can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ. The primary roles of adult stem cells in a living organism are to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are . Scientists have found adult stem cells in many more tissues than they once thought possible. This finding has led researchers and clinicians to ask whether adult stem cells could be used for transplants.Scientists now have evidence that stem cells exist in the brain and the heart.
These type of stem cells are found in the body after development. They multiply by cell division and help repair damaged tissues. The most interesting property of these type of stem cells is that they can generate all the possible...

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