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What are Stem Cells
- •Are unspecialized cells that give rise to differentiated cells (e.g. nerve cells,
- blood cells, liver cells)
•Two important characteristics:
- -Unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division. (even
- after long time of inactivity)
- -Under certain physiological conditions they can be induced to become
- tissue-or-organ-specific cells with special functions.
Kinds of Stem Cells
- – Each cell can develop into a new individual.
- – Cells can form any cell type(over 200).
- – Cells differentiated, but can form a number of other tissues.
Types of Stem Cells
•Embryonic stem cells
•Adult stem cells
•Induced pluripotent stem cell
Embryonic Stem Cell
•Embryonic stem cells are found in the inner cell mass of the blastocyst.
•Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they are able to differentiate into all cells and tissues of the three primary germ layers.
•Embryonic stem cells are capable of propagating themselves indefinitely
The Future of ESC
- •If scientist can reliably direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into
- specific cell types, they may be able to use the resulting, differentiated
- cells to treat certain diseases in the future.
- •Diseases could include: Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, vision and hearing
- loss, and muscular dystrophy.
Adult Stem Cells
•Undifferentiated cells found among differentiated cells in a tissues or organ
•Believed to be found in a specific area of each tissue (Stem-cell niche).
- The primary role of adult stem cells are to maintain and repair the tissue in which
- they are found
Where can they be found?
- •Bone marrow
•Regenerating bone using cells derived from bone marrow stroma
•Developing insulin-producing cells for type 1 diabetes
- damaged heart muscle following a heart attack.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
- •Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are adult cells that have been genetically
- reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state.
•Mouse iPSCs were first reported in 2006, humans late 2007.
- •Mouse iPSCs showed important characteristics of pluripotent stem cells. (e.g. forming tumors containing cells from all three germ layers, and being able to
- contribute to many different tissues when injected into mouse embryo)
Uses for iPSCs
•Useful tool for drug development and modeling of diseases
•Scientists hope to use iPSCs in transplantation medicine
- •Tissues derived from iPSCs will be a nearly identical match to the cell donor and
- should avoid rejection.
Issue with iPSCs
•Viruses are currently used to introduce the reprogramming factors into the adult cell.
- •In animal studies, the virus used to introduce the reprogram factors sometimes
- caused cancer.
•Researchers are currently investigating non-viral delivery strategies
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