New material mimics strength, toughness of mother of pearl

In the summer, many people enjoy walks along the beach looking for seashells. Among the most prized are those that contain iridescent mother of pearl (also known as nacre) inside. But many beachcombers would be surprised ...

Overcoming genomic imprinting barrier improves mammal cloning

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT, also known as cloning) technology holds great potential in animal production and regenerative medicine. However, the extremely low efficiency and frequently observed abnormalities in cloned ...

Human embryo-like model created from human stem cells

Scientists from the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Hubrecht Institute in The Netherlands, have developed a new model to study an early stage of human development, using human embryonic stem cells. The ...

Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn

A group of scientists from CECAD has found a mechanism by which neurodevelopmental diseases concerning neurons can be explained. The loss of a certain enzyme, UBE2K, impedes the differentiation of stem cells by silencing ...

Novel system reveals mechanisms of pluripotency transition

In a study published online in Nature Cell Biology on May 11, scientists from Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences established a novel and efficient system for non-integrated ...

Lipid metabolism controls brain development

Neural stem cells are not only responsible for early brain development—they remain active for an entire lifetime. They divide and continually generate new nerve cells and enable the brain to constantly adapt to new demands. ...

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Embryonic stem cell

Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of an early stage embryo known as a blastocyst. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4–5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50–150 cells.

Embryonic Stem (ES) cells are pluripotent. This means they are able to differentiate into all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm. These include each of the more than 220 cell types in the adult body. Pluripotency distinguishes ES cells from multipotent progenitor cells found in the adult; these only form a limited number of cell types. When given no stimuli for differentiation, (i.e. when grown in vitro), ES cells maintain pluripotency through multiple cell divisions. The presence of pluripotent adult stem cells remains a subject of scientific debate; however, research has demonstrated that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from adult fibroblast cultures.

Because of their plasticity and potentially unlimited capacity for self-renewal, ES cell therapies have been proposed for regenerative medicine and tissue replacement after injury or disease. However Diseases treated by these non-embryonic stem cells include a number of blood and immune-system related genetic diseases, cancers, and disorders; juvenile diabetes; Parkinson's; blindness and spinal cord injuries. Besides the ethical concerns of stem cell therapy (see stem cell controversy), there is a technical problem of graft-versus-host disease associated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, these problems associated with histocompatibility may be solved using autologous donor adult stem cells or via therapeutic cloning.

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