Stem cells are special cells found in different areas throughout the body, and they have the ability to develop into a multitude of other cell types. “Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body. All stem cells—regardless of their source—have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized and they can give rise to specialized cell types” (“Stem Cell Basics”). This definition may seem complicated, but it is actually surprisingly simple. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that are capable of regeneration, assuming a cell type (differentiation), ...
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...ms in two short weeks. Although this method still bears the dreadful potential for rejection, the supply is unlimited, meaning that the benefits can be projected onto many more suffering patients. Possible methods to prevent a negative response to the cells are still undergoing research. Ledford proposes that, “One solution might be to encapsulate the cells in a credit-card-sized, biocompatible sheath made by ViaCyte of San Diego, California...Another option is to coat cells in a protective hydrogel, which results in thousands of separate balls of cells” (Ledford). These ideas both seem promising, but they have not received the proper funding or support to provide conclusive results. The findings of both Oberholzer and Melton have paved a path for many other researchers in their field and will undoubtedly lead to even more astonishing discoveries in the near future.
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