There are 3 identified accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in people: bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood. Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just following birth. Of all stem cell therapy kinds, autologous harvesting requires the least threat.
Grownup stem cells are usually employed in numerous health care therapies (e.g., bone marrow transplantation). Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell kinds with characteristics steady with cells of numerous tissues this kind of as muscle tissue or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated via somatic cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for long term therapies. Investigation into stem cells grew out of findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.
Stem cells are cells with the potential to build into numerous distinct kinds of cells in the entire body. They serve as a fix technique for the entire body. There are two principal kinds of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
Stem cells are distinct from other cells in the entire body in 3 approaches:
- They can divide and renew themselves in excess of a extended time
- They are unspecialized, so they are not able to do particular functions in the entire body
- They have the potential to become specialized cells, this kind of as muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells
Doctors and scientists are enthusiastic about stem cells since they could assist in numerous distinct locations of well being and health care study. Studying stem cells may possibly assist make clear how significant situations this kind of as birth defects and cancer come about. Stem cells may possibly one particular day be employed to make cells and tissues for therapy of numerous diseases. Examples consist of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
How can stem cells treat disease?
When most individuals feel about about stem cells treating disease they feel of a stem cell transplant.
In a stem cell transplant, embryonic stem cells are 1st specialized into the essential adult cell kind. Then, people mature cells replace tissue that is damaged by disease or injury. This kind of remedy could be employed to:
- replace neurons damaged by spinal cord injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological problems
- generate insulin that could treat individuals with diabetes and heart muscle cells that could fix damage following a heart attack or
- replace practically any tissue or organ that is injured or diseased.
But embryonic stem cell-based mostly therapies can do much a lot more.
- Studying how stem cells build into heart muscle cells could supply clues about how we could induce heart muscle to fix itself following a heart attack.
- The cells could be employed to study disease, determine new medicines, or screen medicines for toxic side effects.
Any of these would have a important effect on human well being with out transplanting a single cell.
In concept, there’s no restrict to the kinds of diseases that could be treated with stem cell study. Given that researchers may possibly be able to study all cell kinds through embryonic stem cells, they have the potential to make breakthroughs in any disease.
CIRM has designed disease pages for numerous of the key diseases being targeted by stem cell scientists. You can locate people disease pages here.
You can also sort our complete list of CIRM awards to see what we’ve funded in distinct disease locations.