Stem cells

These are undifferentiated cells found in animal or plant cells of multicelluar organisms.  These cells are able to, under the right circumstances (chemical signals) and positions, form specialised cells types. 

stemcells

An illustration showing the basics of stem cells. A newly fertilised egg produces 8 identical cells that go on to form a 'clump' of cells that can potentially produce other types of cells.

For example a stem cell can turn into specialised cell types like liver cells, skin cells , nerve cells etc. These early stage stem cells can have differing abilities to turn into more specialised cells. Some are more able to specialise than others.

There are generally 3 types of stem cells that are important:

  • embryonic stem cells
  • adult stem cells
  • umbilical cord stem cells


Stem cells also exist in plants usually near the tip of the meristem, the growing tip of the plants.

Why stem cells are important

Stem cells are significant for a number of reasons. …

Recent news about stem cells

Stem cells are reported in the news often from the …

Stem cell resources online

U.S Resources

How stem cells are classified

Generally there are 2 types of stem cells, embryonic …

How are stem cells developed?

Embryonic stem cells are 'harvested' or collected from …

History of stem cells

Stem cells themselves have actually been around for …

Future of stem cells

Stem cell research is about the future, it is cutting …