What are the types of stem cells?
Stem cell banking is a new concept, especially in India. If you ask the people from the previous generation, you would find out that this was something totally unheard of. Indeed, it is only in the last few decades, that people have started exploring the possibilities hidden in stem cell technology. Like any other medical concepts, it too consists of certain pros and cons, which we would be able to see if you gather some knowledge on the subject. First of all, let us try to find out the answers to a few frequently asked questions regarding stem cells.
- What are stem cells?
Although the most basic question, the answer to this question would definitely help in clarifying the cloud over the concepts of stem cells. Stem cells which possess the capability of replicating itself to a number of functional cells through mitosis. In fact, stem cells are the cells which initially construct all the human organs and functional tissues in a foetus. When you study the early months of growth of a foetus, you would see rapid multiplication of cells and formation of tissues. All these are directed by the stem cells. This is the reason why most of the research on stem cells are done on the embryonic cells as those cells are the most potent stem cells.
- Are there any types of stem cells?
Broadly classified, there are two Types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in the bone marrows and the blood of a grown human being. There are certain differences between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. First of all, elaborate clinical procedures are required to segregate stem cells for research from adult cells. However, with technological advancement in the field of medical science, today, bone marrow transplant is a widely recognised practice in the treatment of blood cancer. Nonetheless, most of the storage in the stem cell banking is made up of the embryonic stem cells due to the availability of umbilical cords after every child birth. Researchers encourage the personal banking of umbilical cord as a bank of stem cells.
- What is the need of stem cell banking?
Stem cell banking has become the need of the hour, as it can save a number of lives. Simply speaking, stem cell banking will facilitate effective research on the field of stem cell technology. The voluntary banking of stem cells will allow researchers to get hold of adequate material for research. Keeping aside the stem cell banking pros and cons, your personal banking of stem cells will benefit you in the long run. Stem cells have the potential to treat critical and life threatening diseases.