Stem Cell Basics A Closer Look at Stem Cells

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About stem cells

Stem cells are the foundation of development in plants, animals and humans. In humans, there are many different types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed at different times in our lives. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development and various types oftissue-specific(oradult)stem cells that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout life.Stem cells are defined by two characteristics:

Beyond these two things, though, stem cells differ a great deal in their behaviors and capabilities.

Embryonic stem cells arepluripotent, meaning they can generate all of the bodys cell types but cannot generate support structures like the placenta and umbilical cord.

Other cells aremultipotent,meaning they can generate a few different cell types, generally in a specific tissue or organ.

As the body develops and ages, the number and type of stem cells changes. Totipotent cells are no longer present after dividing into the cells that generate the placenta and umbilical cord. Pluripotent cells give rise to the specialized cells that make up the bodys organs and tissues. The stem cells that stay in your body throughout your life are tissue-specific, and there is evidence that these cells change as you age, too your skin stem cells at age 20 wont be exactly the same as your skin stem cells at age 80.

Learn more about different types of stem cellshere.

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Stem Cell Basics A Closer Look at Stem Cells

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