Stem cell research has gained unprecedented importance lately owing to their enormous therapeutic potential.
Stem cells are not only capable of multiplying into various cell types but also tend to carry out impressive repair work in several tissues of the body. And how are they different from other cell types? Well, they are different in the sense that these cells – known as unspecialized cells – are able to renew themselves through a process called cell division. In certain organs such as the bone marrow or the gut damaged or tattered tissues constantly get replaced thanks to stem cell activity. In some organs like the pancreas and heart, stem cells replenish only under certain conditions.
To be sure, stem cell research commenced about 30 years ago, 1981, to be precise. Scientists became interested in studying and culturing primitive cells from a mouse’s embryo that was five days old. They realized that these cells divided themselves without differentiating for a long time. It took painstaking and dedicated research on the part of scientists for the next 17 years to grow human-derived embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.
Stem cell research has become important in recent years owing to the regenerative skills that stem cells are now known to be equipped with. This has opened up exciting stem cell research possibilities. Lately, an organization called Cancer Research UK along with its commercial branch, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), has brought together a group of stem cell specialists to perform clinical trials with regard to detecting, monitoring and treating various cancers including that of the breast, head, neck, and prostrate.
In a hospital in New Delhi in January 2011, doctors injected stem cells into a young boy suffering from cerebral palsy. These stem cells were derived from the cord blood stored during the boy’s birth with Cryobanks International India.
It is a move highly recommended by those who wish to save a life or improve the quality of life.