What are stem cells?
Stem Cells are cells which can grow and change into many different types of cell. They can also repair organs in the body, by replicating themselves and replacing cells which are damaged or dying in that organ.
Our cells are forever dividing and replenishing themselves
Each new stem cell can become another type of cell with a different purpose, depending on the specialist need of the organ into which they are implanted – they could become a brain cell, a muscle cell, a red blood cell etc.
A stem cell can either renew itself by becoming another stem cell, or with some intervention, be encouraged to become a cell specific to a particular organ’s needs, to replenish itself as a cell suited to that organ. This means in the future we should be able to re-grow our own organs on demand, rather than rely on transplants which are prone to rejection by our own immune system.
Scientists learnt to create embryonic stem cells from mouse embryos 50 years ago, and from human embryos 20 years ago. As the latter is controversial, new methods of generating stem cells were sought. 10 years ago, scientists learnt how to re-program adult cells to become and behave like stem-cells. These are known as ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’.
Unlike other cells, stem cells replicate themselves and can keep creating replacements, which either become more stem cells, or develop into cells specific to a specialist need. However only Embryonic Stem cells can keep on replicating for a very long time (adult stem cells do not replicate in the same way). So the question then became, how to create Embryonic Stem Cells not from human embryos.
- Stem cells replicate by signalling themselves to do so. Scientists are still studying the signalling process that causes stem cells to replicate either as additional stem cells or ‘specialised cells’.
A ‘specialised cell’ is one that performs a specific function – such as a muscle cell, heart cell, or red blood cell.
A stem cell becomes a ‘specialised cell’ through ‘differentiation’, which involves many stages as the cell receives ‘signals’ from inside the cell (from the cell’s genes) and from outside the cell (from neighbouring cells).
Hence stem cells placed in a specific organ can receive signals from other specialist cells within the organ, to replicate as new specialised cells to help perform the specialist function of that organ.
Specialised cells cannot then become other types of specialised cell, but stem cells can become any type of specialised cell.
Embryonic Stem Cells are able to replicate more effectively and for longer than adult stem cells. A Clinic in Cyprus has devised a way of generating embryonic stem cells from a patient’s own skin cells and is using patients own Embryonic Stem Cells cultivated from their skin, for anti-ageing treatments and other treatments.
- To learn more
ReviewsI want to share with you some feedback received from clients who feel they have considerably benefited from Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment: Laura 68“My heart flow rate was at 30% … After 3 ESC injections it is up to 60%. I…
- To learn more
Stem Cell Therapy ResultsOver the last five years of Stem Cell Treatment, in practice, most patients who received Embryonic Stem Cells to treat a specific ailment, noticed a feeling of renewal and energy, with specific beneficial side-effects after a few injections. Some had…
- To learn more
Embryonic Stem CellsEmbryonic Stem Cells are typically but not exclusively derived from Embryos in a culture dish. They may not always reproduce but once they do, additional culture dishes can be populated with more Embryonic Stem Cells. This process can take place…