Plant stem cells require low oxygen levels

Plants function as the green lungs of our planet, and rightfully so, as the capacity of a large, single tree releases more than 120 kg of oxygen into the Earth's atmosphere every year through a series of sunlight-fuelled ...

Spatial DNA organization forms first, then the rest

The fundamental organization of the DNA in active and inactive compartments arises immediately after fertilization of the oocyte, even before genes are activated. This was discovered by researchers from the Hubrecht Institute ...

Early in vitro testing for adverse effects on embryos

ETH researchers have combined embryonic cells and liver cells in a new cell culture test. This combination lets them detect adverse effects that new medications may have on embryos early on in the drug development process.

Robots to the rhino rescue

The critically endangered northern white rhino might have more of a chance thanks to a partnership between the University of California San Diego and San Diego Zoo Global.

Engineers make injectable tissues a reality

A simple injection that can help regrow damaged tissue has long been the dream of physicians and patients alike. A new study from researchers at UBC Okanagan moves that dream closer to reality with a device that makes encapsulating ...

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Stem cell

Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Research in the stem cell field grew out of findings by Canadian scientists Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till in the 1960s. The two broad types of mammalian stem cells are: embryonic stem cells that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells that are found in adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all of the specialized embryonic tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing specialized cells, but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin or intestinal tissues.

Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies.

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