Figure 1: Illustration of free floating stem cell. Stem cells have the unique potential to self-replicate and convert into cells of different tissues during a person's life. The majority of bodily cells are specialized and serve a specific purpose in the body. Brain...
To understand what a stem cell is, it is important to first understand what a stem cell is not. All the cells of the body, called somatic cells, are specialized cells that do one specific thing; they will never do anything else, and they do not proliferate.
Over the past decade the world has seen an unprecedented explosion in the field of stem cell research. Hardly a week passes by without an article in one of the main printed newspapers, describing a new breakthrough involving stem cells. Stem cell research is arguably today one of the most prolific fields of science.
Stem cells can become cells of virtually any tissue and organ of the body, opening the possibilities to a wide range of benefits touching various aspects of human health.