Stem cells

Embryonic stem cell image

What they are - definition

Stem cells, also called stem cells, are undifferentiated, ie they have no particular function. Its main feature is the ability to transform itself into various types of tissues that make up the human body.

Stem cell types and main characteristics

- Embryonic stem cells: are those taken from the animal still in the embryo phase. As a main feature they have a huge ability to transform into any other type of cell. Although they have this significant capacity, genetic research on these cell types is still in the process of being tested.

- Adult stem cells: can be found in various parts of the human body. However, umbilical cord, placenta, and bone marrow cells are most commonly used for medical purposes. Because they are extracted from the patient himself, they offer little risk of rejection in medical treatments. They have a disadvantage compared to embryonic stem cells: the transformation capacity is very small.

Use by Medicine and Genetics

Geneticists believe that in the near future stem cells can be used to cure a variety of diseases such as leukemia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and even diabetes. Using the therapeutic cloning method, various degenerative injuries and illnesses would be addressed. Muscles, tissues, nerves and even organs may soon be reconstituted with the application of this type of treatment, combating various chronic diseases.

Stem cell use controversy

Genetic studies and stem cell treatments receive strong objections from various sectors of society, especially religious. Considering embryos to be a life in the making, conservative religious argue that manipulating or rendering embryos of human beings a murder. In more conservative nations, experiments are stalled or reduced to the use of adult cells.