Exactly What are Stem Cells?

The ethical and moral debate over the use of stem cells has taken center stage over the past decade. Stem cells are of great medical interest, since they have the potential to develop into almost any type of cell in the body. Regenerative medicine focuses on the potential uses of stem cells in medicine and how they can provide effective treatment for a range of diseases.

Stem cells have the capacity to divide indefinitely to replenish other cells in the body. When a stem cell divides, each daughter cell can remain a stem cell or become a more specialized cell, such as a red blood cell, a muscle cell or a nerve cell. An increasing body of evidence also suggests that molecular pathways and properties associated with normal stem cells is relevant to cancer development [1].

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