Lets understand what are the unique properties of the stem cells.
Properties of stem Cells
Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells i the body. All stem cells have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types.
Scientists are trying to understand two fundamental properties of stem cells that relate to their long-term self-renewal:
why can embryonic stem cells proliferate for a vear or more in the laboratory without differentiating, but most adult stem cells cannot; and
what are the factors in living organisms that normally regulate stem cell proliferation and self-renewal?
An understanding of these two properties may make it possible to understand. How cells proliferation is regulated during normal embryonic development.
And during the abnormal cell division that leads to cancer. Importantly, such information would enable scientists to grow embryonic and adult stem cells more efficiently in the laboratory.
Stem cells are unspecialized. One of the fundamental properties of a stem cell is that it does not have any tissue-specific structures that allow it to perform specialized functions like pumping blood through the body (like a heart muscle cell); or
carrying molecules of oxygen through the bloodstream (like a red blood cell); or fire electrochemical signals to other cells that allow the body to move or speak (like a nerve cell).
However, unspecialized stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. Including heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells.
Stem cells are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods. and muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells. Which do not normally replicate themselves stem cells may replicate many times. This is called proliferation.
A starting population of stem cells that proliferates for many months in the laboratory can yield millions of cells. If the resulting cells continue to be unspecialized, like the parent stem cells, the cells are said to be capable of long-term self-renewal.
The specific factors and conditions that allow stem cells to remain unspecialized are of great interest to scientists who have been able to grow stem cells in the laboratory after many years of trial and error.
i) embryos: a young animal or plant in the very stages of development before birth.
ii) in vitro fertilization: fertilization that takes place outside a living body.
iii) Parkinson’s disease: disease of the nervous system that gets worse over a period of time and causes muscles to become weak and the limbs to shake.
iv) cell-based therapies: the treatment of a physical problem or a disease through the use of stem cells v) proliferate: increase rapidly in number.
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