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Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research

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Stem Cell Research

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  1. Stem Cell Research

  2. What are Stem cells? • Stem cells are cells in the body capable of rebuilding and generating , nerve cells, heart cells, blood cells, or any kind of cell in the human body Types of Stem Cells Embryonic Stem Cells : - The cell divides, producing an embryo (totipotent stem cells) - the embryo forms a blastocyst - the cells found inside of the blastocyst are known as embryonic stem cells - able to generate different cells in body (pluripotent) Adult Stem Cells - found throughout the body after birth - generate other cells that the body needs to replenish (pluripotent) - hard to isolate because they often lay dormant and are unable to activate Blastocyst

  3. How We Get From A to B • Fertilized egg begins to divide through mitosis, to 4 cells and then 8. These cells are known as totipotent and can give rise to every cell needed to grow an embryo, a fetus and eventually a human being. • By the time there are 16 cells a blastocyst has formed. The cells located inside this ball-like structure are pluripotent stem cells which give rise to all cells in the body. • These cells differentiate, clump together, begin specializing and form all different types of cells in the body such as, hematopoietic cells (blood cells), nerve cells, skin cells etc.

  4. Isolating Stem Cells • Researchers can isolate embryonic stem cells from embryos • Embryo is destroyed during the extraction of stem cells • From these isolated stem cells, stem cell lines can be grown in labs • Scientists use these stem cell lines to study the characteristics of embryonic stem cells

  5. The Hope Of Stem Cell Research… • Scientists hope that through extensive research diseases such as Diabetes, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and other medical problems such as spinal cord injuries can be reversed and cured with further research into stem cells • Diabetes: • Scientists have successfully differentiated embryonic stem cells from mice into insulin producing cells. • They were then injected back into mice. • The mice were not cured but remained alive • Spinal Cord Injuries: • Embryonic stem cells have been differentiated into nerve cells • Cells were injected directly into spinal cord fluid of mice • Mice, paralyzed for nine days, were able to move their legs and even stand up • Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS): • a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord • Paralyzed mice with similar virus relating to ALS were injected with embryonic stem cells • Stem cells were injected directly into the spinal fluid of mice • Stem cells travelled to the spinal cord, differentiated, and began repairs. • After a few months the mice were able to move and even walk

  6. … The Hope of Stem Cell Research • Parkinson’s Disease: • a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills and speech • Embryonic stem cells are extracted and grown in stem cell lines • using chemicals, stem cell lines are triggered to grow dopamine producing cells • these cells can now be injected into the correct part of the brain and begin to integrate with existing cells and begin to produce dopamine • Tissue Engineering: • Dr Anthony Atala successfully used tissue engineering and adult stem cells to grow new bladders for beagles • Took bladder stem cells from dogs, and grew them in a special biodegradable plastic shaped like bladder • Removed real bladder and transplanted new ones • Bladders started working and urination was normal • Endogenous Cell Activation: • Activating adult stem cells in own body to rebuild and replace damaged tissue and cells in body • Alzheimer’s , a brain disease, can possibly be reversed with this technique • Adult brain neuron cells can be activated to repair damaged brain cells Strip of skin grown with skin stem cells Allman, Toney. Stem Cells