Monday, 14 December 2015

Stem Cell Research – Some FAQs

You might have heard about the advancements surrounding the stem cell research and increasing cord blood pricing issues. You may wonder how stem cell differs from the general human cells and why they are the subject of such vigorous debate. So let us explore more by checking the answers to some frequently asked questions about stem cells. 

What are stem cells?

We can say stem cells are the body’s raw materials – the cells from which specialized cells are
generated. They have a remarkable potential to renew themselves through cell division which help in internal repairing. In some organs such as gut and bone marrow, the damaged cells are repaired and replaced by the stem cells on a routine basis. Another important characteristic that distinguishes stem cells from other cell types is its capability to become an organ-specific cell under certain physiologic or experimental conditions. 

Why Stem cells are important and what are the benefits of stem cell research?

Unique regenerative abilities of the stem cells offer promising medical solutions in treating several debilitating conditions. According to researchers and doctors, the stem cell studies helps in availing a better understanding about how diseases develop in a human body. Regenerative medicine therapy is a remarkable initiative that revolves around the benefits of stem cell research. Since stem cells have the potential to repair and renew, it can be used to treat damaged tissues in people. Drug testing is another notable application of stem cell. Human stem cells are programmed into tissue-specific cells for testing new drugs. Safety and quality of investigational drugs are tested using such programmed stem cells in laboratory. 

What are the sources of stem cells? 

Embryonic stem cells, as the name indicates are found in the embryos that are three to five days old. Bone marrow, fat and most of the adult tissues have adult stem cells. Perinatal stem cells are found in the amniotic fluid and baby’s cord blood. And that is why the medical communities are encouraging the banking of baby’s cord blood and tissue these days.

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