Potential of Adult Stem cells

Topics: Stem cell, Cellular differentiation, Embryonic stem cell Pages: 4 (1483 words) Published: September 23, 2013

The Potential of Pericytes Found in Blood Vessels

Do pericytes found in blood vessels create more potential for adult stem cell research? The capability to revert blindness, cure diabetes, let paralyzed people walk again, replace deficient organs with newly grown ones and cure blood diseases are a few of the many potential functions of stem cells. A stem cell is an unspecialized cell that can develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth it also has the ability to divide essentially without limit. Unlike mature cells, which permanently have the same function, stem cells can both renew themselves and create new cells of whatever tissue they belong to as well as any other tissue. Studying stem cells will help researchers understand how the cells transform into the astounding range of specialized cells that make us what we are. Some of the most serious medical conditions are due to problems that occur somewhere in the process of stem cells becoming mature cells. Researchers believe that better understandings of normal cell development will help make clear and perhaps correct the errors that cause these medical conditions (Klein, 2010). There are two types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells and adult or somatic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent meaning that they have the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers. They are derived from the inner cell mass of a 4-5 day old blastocyst which is an early-stage embryo. There is much debate on using embryonic stem cells because of the undefined definition of when life begins. The research on embryonic stem cells destroys the blastocyst when the inner cell mass is extracted creating ethical issues and difficulties in gaining a consensus and funding for this type of research. Adult or somatic stem cells are stem cells found in all of the tissues in a human or animal body and they divide to replenish dying...

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