Why are Stem Cells so Different?
In the mid 1800’s it was discovered that Stem Cells were basically the building blocks of life
Stem Cells are different from other cells in the body in three main ways:
- Stem Cells are unspecialised. They have not developed into cells that perform a specific function.
- Stem Cells can differentiate, This means they can divide and produce cells that have the potential to become other more specific cell types, tissues or organs. These new cells and tissues are used to repair or replace damaged or diseased cells in the body. Once cells have differentiated they have less capacity to form multiple different cell types and become ‘committed’ to becoming a particular cell type. Skin Stem Cells, for example, give rise to new skin cells when needed, to assist regeneration after damage and as part of the normal ageing process.
Adult Stem Cells are frequently used in medical therapies, for example in bone marrow transplantation Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialised cell types with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerve.
A Stem Cell is an immature cell with the capability of developing into many different cell types. In many tissues they work as an internal repair system.
The classical definition of a Stem Cell requires that is possess two properties:
Self Renewal: The ability to go through numerous cycles of cell division while maintaining the undifferentiated state.
Potency: The capacity to differentiate into specialised cell types.
The fact that this technology is now available in the health and beauty industry makes it an exciting advancement to enable us all to look and feel healthier while looking years younger. Feeling healthier give us the ability to enjoy life well into old age and looking younger gives us confidence in ourselves.
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