What are Stem Cells?WHY ARE STEM CELLS IMPORTANT?
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a connective tissue cell, or a cartilage cell.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF ALL STEM CELLS
Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body. All stem cells—regardless of their source—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.
WHAT ARE ADULT STEM CELLS?
An adult stem cell is thought to be an undifferentiated cell, found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ. The adult stem cell can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ.