What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are a type of cell found in every human body and in many areas of those bodies. Like other cells, stem cells are capable of dividing and becoming new cells but they differ in that the new cells created when a stem cell divides, have the ability of becoming either new stem cells or any other cell—think blood cells, skin cells, muscle cells, bone cells, nerve cells, and more.
Though stem cells are found in many different areas of the body, most stem cells used in stem cell therapy are harvested from cord blood at the time of birth (upon the approval of the person giving birth), from bone marrow, or from an individual’s circulating blood. Other sources of stem cells are within amniotic fluid, brain and spinal cord, teeth, muscles, heart, liver, and many other tissues and organs in the body. Though, few studies have used stem cells derived from these areas and, as such, it is not common practice to use them in stem cell therapy.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem Cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that, as the name suggests, uses stem cells to allow the body to regenerate tissues and heal itself.
Stem cell therapy is a relatively new type of treatment and has only been practiced outside of scientific studies in recent years. Many scientists and physicians believe stem cells show great promise for curing diseases and could change medicine as we know it. Imagine being able to replace damaged heart and brain tissue, regenerate new bone and cartilage tissues, and yes, cure many types of cancer. These are just some of the things that stem cell therapy could make possible.
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