There are three recognized accessible sources of autologous grownup stem cells in people: bone marrow, adipose tissue, and blood. Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just right after birth. Of all stem cell therapy sorts, autologous harvesting includes the least threat.

Adult stem cells are frequently employed in various healthcare therapies (e.g., bone marrow transplantation). Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell sorts with traits steady with cells of various tissues this kind of as muscle tissues or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells produced by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies. Research into stem cells grew out of findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.

Stem cells are cells with the prospective to develop into several distinct sorts of cells in the entire body. They serve as a restore system for the entire body. There are two primary sorts of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and grownup stem cells.

Stem cells are distinct from other cells in the entire body in three ways:

    • They can divide and renew themselves over a extended time


    • They are unspecialized, so they cannot do distinct functions in the entire body


    • They have the prospective to grow to be specialized cells, this kind of as muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells

Doctors and scientists are thrilled about stem cells since they could assist in several distinct places of health and healthcare research. Learning stem cells may assist explain how severe conditions this kind of as birth defects and cancer come about. Stem cells may a single day be employed to make cells and tissues for therapy of several illnesses. Examples contain Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

How can stem cells treat disease?

When most folks feel about about stem cells treating disease they feel of a stem cell transplant.

In a stem cell transplant, embryonic stem cells are 1st specialized into the essential grownup cell variety. Then, people mature cells change tissue that is damaged by disease or injury. This variety of treatment method could be employed to:

    • change neurons damaged by spinal cord injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological troubles


    • make insulin that could treat folks with diabetes and heart muscle cells that could restore damage right after a heart attack or


    • change virtually any tissue or organ that is injured or diseased.

But embryonic stem cell-primarily based therapies can do much much more.

    • Learning how stem cells develop into heart muscle cells could offer clues about how we could induce heart muscle to restore itself right after a heart attack.


    • The cells could be employed to review disease, recognize new medicines, or screen medicines for toxic side effects.

Any of these would have a considerable affect on human health with out transplanting a single cell.

What illnesses could be taken care of by stem cell research?

In concept, there’s no limit to the sorts of illnesses that could be taken care of with stem cell research. Provided that researchers may be ready to review all cell sorts via embryonic stem cells, they have the prospective to make breakthroughs in any disease.

CIRM has created disease pages for several of the major illnesses currently being targeted by stem cell scientists. You can find people disease pages here.

You can also type our complete listing of CIRM awards to see what we’ve funded in distinct disease places.