A stem cellis a cell v the unique capability to construct into specialised cell types in the body. In the future they may be used toreplace cells and also tissues that have actually been damaged or lost due to disease.

You are watching: What property is unique to stem cells?

What is a stem cell?

Stem cells provide new cells for the body together itgrows, and replace specialised cells that room damaged or lost. Theyhave two unique properties that enable them to execute this: They deserve to divide over and also over again to produce brand-new cells. Together they divide, lock can readjust into theothertypes ofcellthat make up the body.

An illustration mirroring a stem cell providing rise to more stem cell or specialised cells. photo credit: Genome research Limited

Different varieties of stem cell

There room three main types of stem cell: embryonic stem cell adult stem cells induced pluripotent stem cell

Embryonic stem cells

this stem cells are said to be pluripotent, which method they can change into any cell in the body.

Adult stem cells

Adult stem cell supply brand-new cells as an organism grows and also to replace cells that get damaged. Adult stem cell are claimed to it is in multipotent, which way they deserve to only adjust into part cells in the body, not any kind of cell, because that example: Blood (or "haematopoietic") stem cells deserve to only replace the various types of cells in the blood. Skin (or "epithelial") stem cells administer the different species of cells that consist of our skin and hair.

An illustration mirroring different species of stem cabinet in the body. Picture credit: Genome research study Limited

Induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells, or ‘iPS cells’, space stem cells that researchers make in the laboratory. ‘Induced’ way that they room made in the laboratory by taking normal adult cells, prefer skin or blood cells, and also reprogramming lock to become stem cells. As with embryonic stem cells, they space pluripotent for this reason they can build into any cell type.


A scientist right here at the Wellcome Genome Campus working on induced pluripotant stem cells. Image credit: Genome study Limited

Why space stem cell useful?

Stem cells have actually several offers including: research – to aid us know the basic biology that howliving things workand what wake up in different types of cell throughout disease. Treatment – come replace lost or damaged cells the our body can’t change naturally.

Stem cabinet research

research study is looking to better understand the properties of stem cell so that us can: understand just how our bodies grow and also develop We have the right to use stem cells to study just how cells come to be specialised for specific functions in the body, and what happens once this process goes not correct in disease.

These heart cells to be grown native stem cells in a petri dish and also can be offered to examine the beating valuation of the heart. Picture credit: The McEwen Centre because that Regenerative Medicine, University health Network

Stem cabinet therapy

Stem cells might be one method of generating new cells that deserve to then it is in transplanted into the human body to replace those that are damaged or lost. Adult stem cell are currently used come treat part conditions, for example: Blood stem cell are used to administer a resource of healthy and balanced blood cell for people with some blood conditions, such as thalassaemia, and cancer patient who have lost their very own blood stem cells throughout treatment. Skin stem cells deserve to be used to generate brand-new skin for civilization with major burns. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an instance of a condition where stem cells could be used as a new type of treatment in the future: scientists are utilizing induced pluripotent stem cell to produce new RPE cells in the lab that deserve to then be put right into a patient’s eye to replace the damaged cells.

See more: What Does Han Mean In Japanese ? Han In Japanese


An illustration showing exactly how stem cells deserve to be provided to develop retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell that can be offered to law patients through age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Imagecredit:GenomeResearchLimited

Stem cells might be used to generate new organs for use in transplants: Currently, damaged organs can be changed by obtaining healthy organs indigenous a donor, however donated organs might be "rejected" through the body as the immune mechanism sees it together something the is foreign. Induced pluripotent stem cells produced from the patience themselves could be supplied to grow brand-new organs the would have actually a lower risk of gift rejected.

How do you generate induced pluripotent stem cells?

To create induced pluripotent stem cells, scientists re-introduce the signal that generally tell stem cell to remain as stem cells in the at an early stage embryo. This switch off any kind of genes the tell the cabinet to be specialised, and also switch on genes that phone call the cabinet to be a stem cell.