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Stem Cells

Stem cells are essentially undifferentiated cells.  There are many kinds of stem cells, some more differentiated than others.  When they divide, their progeny mature and specialize into a specific type of cell (i.e. heart, blood, liver).  These differentiated cells form an embryo.  Stem cells also exist in adults (Adult Stem (AS) cells) and are used to repair and regenerate damaged organs and tissues throughout life.  However, in adults the repair and regeneration by stem cells is limited to only certain cell types.  In contrast, embryonic stem (ES) cells are not limited in there potential to differentiate into every cell type.  Embryonic germ (EG) cells have the same potential as ES cells.  It is the versatility and nonspecifically of these cells that gives them the potential to have therapeutic applications.

Related Topics:

Genetics

Contributed by: BU

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