Stem cells are basically the blank building blocks that the body will one day use to develop every part of the body as the body grows. Where a normal cell is only able to divide into more cells that are identical, stem cells are capable of dividing into another stem cell, or any other type of cell within the body.
In normal situations, stem cells are used to serve two purposes.
1. They are used in an unborn and young child to create new cells which will eventually make up the new organs within the body.
2. In the older child or adult, some stem cells are still found in certain parts of the body, and these stem cells are used to regrow or repair damaged tissues or organs.
Because of the 2nd normal use of stem cells, scientists hope to be able to develop a means of controlling this process and utilise it to regrow heart muscle and other tissues which are currently un-repairable once damaged.
This provides numerous health benefits for people in the future.