Stem Cells Research Paper

2088 words - 9 pages

Stem Cells- Research Paper
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide through the process of mitosis to produce more stem cells. Mitosis being the a type of cell division that results in two daughter cells each having the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus, typical of ordinary tissue growth. Stem cells are found in multicellular organisms (Crosta, 2008). Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of interior repair system, dividing basically 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. These would be things such as a muscle cell, or a brain cell. Stem cells are notable from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division even after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue, or organ-specific cells with special functions. Stem cells are either extracted from adult tissue or from a dividing zygote in a culture dish; this process is also called in-vitro fertilization. Once removed, scientists place the cells in a controlled place that forbids them from further differentiating but usually allows the cells to divide and replicate. Once stem cells have been allowed to divide and spread in a controlled place, the collection of healthy, dividing, and undifferentiated cells is called a stem cell line (Garbutt, 2007). Embryonic stem cells are able to differentiate into more cell types than adult stem cells. Embryonic: derived from a four- or five-day-old human embryo that is in the blastocyst phase of development. There are also adult stem cells, correspondingly known as somatic cells, exist throughout the body after embryonic development and are found inside of different types of tissue. They can divide or self-renew open-endedly, enabling them to generate a range of cell types from the originating organ or can even make it possible to regenerate the entire original organ.
Along with everything to do with stem cells, come different types of potent cells, these are cells such as; totipotent- the ability to differentiate into all possible cell types, pluripotent- the ability to differentiate into almost all cell types, multipotent- the ability to differentiate into a closely related family of cells and oligopotent- the ability to differentiate into a few cells and lastly, unipotent- which is the ability to only produce cells of their own type. In conclusion, this is what stem cells are and the background behind them including the different types, where they can be...

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