Stem Cell Research Paper

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1. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that divide within the body and develop into different kinds of cells. These have the potential to become specialized cells in the body with specific functions. Therefore, they are known as unspecialized cells as they differentiate into liver cells, muscle cells, blood cells, etc. Another interesting fact also includes that these cells are also known as 'undifferentiated cells'. This is because they have not completed a specific developmental path to form a specific organ or tissue. The different types are divided or categorized according to their 'potency'. This term 'potency' is used to describe the number of types of cells a cell can develop or differentiate into. Stem cells are of three types: totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent. The totipotent cells are the first type. These cells are those that have not begun the process of differentiation. These cells have the capability to differentiate into any type of cell within the body. The pluripotent cells are those that are almost as potent as totipotent cells. However, these cells have barely started the differentiation process and are capable of developing into any other type of body cell. Multipotent stem cells are those cells that have begun the process of differentiation into general cell type. They can develop into certain type of cells in a particular group or family of cells. There are different sources within the body that are used in collecting different stem cells. The three types mentioned previously are located in different locations of the body. Their function differs from each other. Totipotent cells can develop into any kind of cells and pluripotent stem cells can develop into any cells other than the cells needed to create a human. The multipotent cells can form fetal tissue, cord blood and adult stem cells. These are those cells that form a group of cells called embryo. They are the first step in development of life. These newly fertilized embryo cells after the first few cell divisions contain totipotent stem cells. These cells have the ability to form any kind of cell structure and they then develop into pluripotent cells. After the 8th week of development, the embryo turns into a fetus. This fetus now develops kind of human form from blastocyst embryonic stem cells. These fetal divide and form the tissues before it is ready for birth. These are pluripotent in nature like the embryonic stem cells. The umbilical cord is thread of life between the mother and the fetus. It helps in transportation of oxygen as well as nutrients from the placental to the fetus. Once the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut off from the infant. What remains is the bellybutton on the abdomen of the bay. The umbilical cells are present in the blood of the umbilical cord. These are genetically identical to the baby and are multipotent in nature. These cells are used in umbilical cord blood stem cell storage. These can differentiate into limited number of cell types present in the body. The placenta contains 10 times as many stem cells that can be harvested through the cord blood. These are multipotent stem cells that divide into certain cell types. The adult stem cells are not exclusively found in the adult body. They are also present in infants and children. These adult stem cells are present in the developed tissues of the body. These cells function throughout the life of the individual, carrying out the repair and maintenance of the organs present. These cells are obviously multipotent as they can divide into the specific type of cells based in their location.

2. Stem cells are the cells from which all other cells originate. In a human embryo, a large portion of the embryo's cells are stem cells. As the young child grows in her mother's womb, most of these cells begin to differentiate and become her heart, liver, kidneys and all of the 210 kinds of tissue found in a human body. Even though most of these cells become...
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