What is the function of a stem cell?
The stem cell has two functions. The first one is self-renewal; this simply means it has to reproduce itself so that we do not run out of stem cells because there always has to be stem cells in the body. And the second function is division and differentiation. The stem cell divides into all the elements that are found in the blood. Red cells that carry oxygen, white cells that fight infection, and the platelets, the small components that stop you from bleeding excessively. What was the genesis of stem cell selection technology? The whole thing really started with the advent of the development of monoclonal antibodies. A group in Cambridge led by the Nobel laureate, Cesar Milstein, first developed these antibodies in the UK around 1978. The group discovered a way of producing very specific antibodies. We all have antibodies to fight infection but what they did was to find a way of producing just one single antibody out of a morass of literally tens of thousands that could recognize one