Stem cells are cells with the likely to build into numerous distinct kinds of cells in the entire body

There are three recognized accessible sources of autologous grownup stem cells in people: bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood. Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just right after birth. Of all stem cell therapy types, autologous harvesting includes the least threat.

Adult stem cells are often used in different medical therapies (e.g., bone marrow transplantation). Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell types with qualities consistent with cells of different tissues this kind of as muscle tissues or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated by way of somatic cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for long term therapies. Study into stem cells grew out of findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.

Stem cells are cells with the possible to build into many different types of cells in the physique. They serve as a restore method for the physique. There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and grownup stem cells.

Stem cells are different from other cells in the physique in three methods:

    • They can divide and renew themselves above a extended time


    • They are unspecialized, so they can not do particular functions in the physique


    • They have the possible to grow to be specialized cells, this kind of as muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells

Medical professionals and scientists are thrilled about stem cells due to the fact they could aid in many different places of wellness and medical analysis. Learning stem cells might aid describe how severe circumstances this kind of as birth defects and cancer come about. Stem cells might one particular day be used to make cells and tissues for therapy of many diseases. Examples include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord damage, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

How can stem cells deal with disease?

When most folks feel about about stem cells treating disease they feel of a stem cell transplant.

In a stem cell transplant, embryonic stem cells are first specialized into the required grownup cell kind. Then, those mature cells replace tissue that is broken by disease or damage. This kind of remedy could be used to:

    • replace neurons broken by spinal cord damage, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological troubles


    • produce insulin that could deal with folks with diabetes and heart muscle cells that could restore damage right after a heart attack or


    • replace almost any tissue or organ that is injured or diseased.

But embryonic stem cell-based mostly therapies can do much more.

    • Learning how stem cells build into heart muscle cells could provide clues about how we could induce heart muscle to restore itself right after a heart attack.


    • The cells could be used to research disease, determine new medicines, or display medicines for toxic side results.

Any of these would have a significant influence on human wellness with out transplanting a single cell.

What diseases could be taken care of by stem cell analysis?

In theory, there’s no restrict to the types of diseases that could be taken care of with stem cell analysis. Provided that researchers might be able to research all cell types by way of embryonic stem cells, they have the possible to make breakthroughs in any disease.

CIRM has designed disease pages for many of the main diseases becoming targeted by stem cell scientists. You can discover those disease pages right here.

You can also sort our full record of CIRM awards to see what we have funded in different disease places.