Stem Cell: What Exactly Are They?
HAVE YOU HEARD OF STEM CELL THERAPY OR STEM CELL INJECTION?
It was first discovered in 1931, which is more than 30 years when scientists found the way to derive embryonic stem cells from early mouse embryos. Thanks to the further and more detail study of the early mouse embryos, a discovery of method to derive human stem cells from human embryos and grow the cells in the laboratory.
STEM CELLS SOURCE OF ORIGIN
Stem cells have two origins; the adult body tissues and embryos. The effort to produce stem cells from other cells via genetic reprogramming technique.
ADULT STEM CELLS
Fact:Human body produces stem cells, and can be use whenever it needs them.
These also known and called as somatic stem cells or tissue-specific stem cells. From the moment of an embryo develops itself, adult stem cells exist since then.
These cells stay nonspecific until the body requires them for specific purpose, example; skin or muscle cells.
The body renews the cells in its body constantly. As example, the gut and bone marrow, where stem cells are divided on regular basis for maintenance and repairs.
In every types of tissue, there are presence of stem cells. Scientists have found in tissues as well as:
- The brain
- Bone marrow
- Blood and blood vessels
- Skeletal muscles
- The liver
Though finding stem cells can be rather difficult. For years, they can remain non-dividing and non-specific until the body requires them for repair or other such matter.
Adult stem cells able to self-renew and divide. Meaning they are able to generate various cells type from originating organ or to regenerate or repair original organ. This is how skins, or muscles repair or renew themselves. Including other organs such the liver.
Previously, scientists concluded the cells are only able to differentiate based on the tissue they originated from. But now, scientists discovered that there are ways to suggest the cells to differentiate to other type of cells.
EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS
Another source of stem cells come from an embryo has taken the form of blastocyst or a ball of cells. The blastocyst contains stem cells which later will be implanted to the womb . These stem cells from blastocyst are 4-5 days old.
The stem cells taken by scientists from an embryo are usually extras resulting from in vitro fertilization (IVF). So when a sperm fertilize the egg, the cells combine together to form a zygote.
Right before the embryo implants itself in the uterus, this mass consists of 150-200 cells is the blastocyst and it contains two parts:
- Outer cell mass that becomes part of the placenta
- Inner cell mass that would later develop into human body
And within the inner cell is where the embryonic stem cells can be found. These cells are called totipotent by the scientists. The name and term is used because the cells have the potential to develop itself into any cells within the body. Plus, with the right stimulations the cells can become blood cells, skin cell and all other types of cells in the body.
To learn even more about stem cell, check this video below.