How are human stem cells used?
Stem cells are undifferentiated, or “blank,” cells that have not yet become specialized. Scientists prize stem cells for their potential to cure diseases and repair damaged tissues.SourcesThe most useful stem cells, those of the embryonic variety, come from young human embryos. Stem cells can also be found in blood, the umbilical cord of newborn babies and in adult bone marrow.ApplicationUnder the right conditions, stem cells can be directed to become specific types of cells. They can also divide and make new stem cells.ResearchBy studying stem cells, scientists are able to learn more about the process of cell development. Because many diseases, including cancer, are linked to abnormal cell development, it is hoped that this research can lead to a cure.TreatmentsCord blood cells have already been used to treat more than 80 diseases, including leukemia. An infusion of cord blood may help the immune system recover from chemotherapy.The FutureStem cells have been directed to produce insul