Stem Cells - Are They Effective?
You can find various topics right now regarding stem cell treatments. A lot of people these days are going out of their way to get their hands on stem cell treatment because they heard a lot about how it makes them look younger, or it cures diseases that were considered to be incurable.
However, little do people know that stem cell is still in its research phase; although there are a lot of studies proven that stem cell is effective. Many iconic celebrities have shared their experience with stem cell treatment, too. People just need to know more about what stem cell is before they get their treatment with it.
We are one of the top leading news providers of the advancement of medical technology. One of the topics that we are keeping a close eye on is the stem cell research, including the cord blood treatment that many people are curious about right now. However, it is not widely accessible yet, given that the treatment is quite complex, not to mention very expensive.
However, if you were to follow our posts, you will learn about its progress and how long it will be until it becomes part of the general treatment in almost any disease known to man these days.
Stem cell research is everywhere right now, but the general public barely has access to it. This is because it is still undergoing various researches to make it more accessible to everyone. It doesn’t mean to say that stem cell is ineffective. There are certain treatments using stem cell technology that is proven effective. But until there are still doubts surrounding it despite the number of success cases, people need to be more familiar with this new medical technology.
What is Stem Cell?
They have a unique ability in developing specialized cell types within the body. They come from 2 main sources:
- l Adult tissue, also known as adult stem cells
- l Embryos that have taken shape during the embryological development’s blastocyst phase thus referred to as embryonic stem cells.
These two types are generally characterized according to their potency or the potential in differentiating in different types of cells, such as a bone cell, muscle cell, skin cell, etc.
Adult Stem Cells
Also known as somatic stem cells, they exist all over the body after the embryonic development. They are found in various tissue types. Such stem cells are found in tissues in the bone marrow, brain, blood vessels, blood, skin, liver, blood vessels and the skeletal muscles. They stay in a non-dividing or quiescent state for years up until they are activated by tissue injury or disease.
The adult stem cells can self-renew or divide indefinitely. Thus it enables them to generate a wide range of types of cells from where they come from or regenerate the whole organ. It is thought that this kind of stem cells is limited in its ability in differentiating based on where they originate, but there is evidence showing that they can also distinguish in turning into other cell types, too.
Embryonic Stem Cells
This stem cell type is derived from the 4 or 5-day old embryo from humans that is in its blastocyst development phase. The human embryos are mostly extras that have been made through in vitro fertilization or IVF clinics wherein some eggs are fertilized within the test tube. However, only one of these fertilized eggs gets implanted in the woman.
The blastocyst stage, in normal pregnancy, goes on until the embryo’s implantation into the uterus in which the embryo is then referred to as the fetus. This usually happens during the tenth week of the gestation period; wherein all the major organs have already been developed.
During the extracting of the embryonic stem cells in the blastocyst stage, it signals in isolating the stem cells which is by placing it in “inner cell mass” from the blastocyst and into the culture dish that contains the nutrient-rich broth. Since they lack the needed simulation for differentiation, they start to divide then replicate while they maintain the ability of turning into any cell type within the human body. In due time, the undifferentiated cells get stimulated in creating specialized cells.
Potency of Stem Cells
These stem cells are classified by its potential in differentiating into different cell types. The embryonic stem cells are considered the most potent of all since they need to turn into every cell type found within the body. Some of its classifications include:
- l Totipotent – which is the ability in differentiating in all possible types of cells like the zygote that is formed during the egg fertilization and its first few cells resulting from the zygote’s division?
- l Pluripotent – similar with the first class, but this one covers the embryonic stem cells and the ones that are derived from ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm germ layers formed during the first stages of differentiation with the embryonic stem cell.