As we celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day, we thought we would share seven facts about stem cells.
- Stem cells act as the body’s own “home renovation” team. According to the National Institutes of Health, “in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.” When a stem cell divides, it has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
- Not all stem cells are the same. Pluripotent stem cells can develop into any specialized cell type in the body, while multipotent stem cells, like the stem cells found in cord blood or adult tissues like bone marrow, have a more limited potential for the type of specialized cells they can become. “Stem cells are mother cells that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body,” according to Dr. Ananya Mandal.
- All mammals have stem cells.
- Blood and immune forming stem cells can be used in the treatment of 80 diseases, including various cancers, blood, immune and metabolic disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. The Cord Blood Registry offers a detailed list here.
Pages: 1 2
Tags: Stem Cell Awareness Day