Stem cells are un-programmed cells which have the potential to grow into the 300+ different kinds of cells in the human body.
The different types of stem cells – where can they be harvested from?
Totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent all contain “potent”. Potency is the state of being potent. Potent and potency both derive from potential, the capability of doing something. Cell differentiation is when the developing organism needs to create the various types of cells.
Totipotent is the term to describe for stem cells that can become any kind of cell in the body. In Latin, “Toti” means “total”, so the stem cell can be thought of as total potential. These are found in the early stages of the newly fertilized egg, or zygote.
Pluripotent is the term to describe for a stem cell that can become almost any kind of cell. In Latin, “Pluri” means “more”, so the stem cell can be thought of having “more” potential. These cells are found in the inner cell mass.
Multipotent is the term to describe for stem cells that can differentiate into a range of cell types, though limited. In Latin, “Multi” means “much” so it can be thought of having “much” potential. This form of stem cell can be found in the umbilical cord.
What are the goals of stem cell research?
Stem cells have been researched for decades, with the research all based around questions of why we age, get sick or get permanent injuries. Ultimately trying to understand why humans don't live forever.
What can stem cells be used for in the future/now?
Current research on stem cells suggests that they may be able to cure the incurable diseases like Parkinson's disease and Tay-Sach's disease. Stem cells may be able to be used to regrow heart tissue, liver cells, cells affiliated with diabetes, bone marrow and cells involved in some auto-immune diseases. Researchers’ state their goals in stem cell research are to be able to create new body parts or...