What are stem cells?
Cells are the smallest known building blocks of living organisms. All of the cells in the human body have different functions. For example, white blood cells fight infection in the body while red blood cells carry oxygen, and heart muscle cells make the heart beat while neurons are used to click signals through the body and for the functions of the brain.
On the other hand, stem cells are special cells with self-renewal and differentiation functions. Thanks to self-renewal property, stem cells can divide and produce more stem cells . Stem cells can be classified according to how much they can differentiate into new cell types. The four main classifications are: totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent, and unipotent. Totipotent stem cells can turn into any other cell type. For example, the zygote, which is a fertilized egg cell, and the cells of the embryo up to the eight-cell stage are totipotent cells.
These cells can form a complete and normal individual in the womb. Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into almost all cell types.
For example, embryonic stem cells are formed from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, which is a later stage of embryonic development. Multipotent stem cells can differentiate into small groups of cells.
A Brief Study on Stem Cell Research
For example, somatic stem cells are multipotent. This means that their differentiation potential is limited to a number of related cell types. Also, mesenchymal stem cells can be an example of multipotent stem cells.]