What sort of experiments are currently being done on the topic of stem cells?
Stem cells are called “stem” cells because they are very basic cells that are generally found in the faetus and young babies (as well as certain body tissues) and are able to grow into any cell or tissue in the organ. Where as most cells can only proliferate and create more cells like themselves.
1. Stem Cells are being tested to determine if they can be cultured (grown) in a petri dish so that only a small amount of stem cells can be used to make many stem cells.
2. Stem Cells are being used to re-grow or assist in the development of certain organs. For example, the redevelopment of the islet of langerhans have been attempted with some success so that diabetic patient no longer have to take insulin.
3. Stem Cells are being used in an attempt to re-grow aspects of a damaged heart muscle (which ordinarily can’t be replaced). If successful, this will mean that people who have suffered a heart attack (and in doing so damaged heart muscle) will be able to have lost heart muscle regrown/redeveloped.