Stem Cell Production
A New Era in Medicine: Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Create Cures
Human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in 1998. Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells are “pluripotent,” meaning they are like a blank slate and have the ability to differentiate into any of the more than 220 cell types in the human body. Also, under the right conditions, embryonic stem cells are capable of replicating themselves indefinitely. These qualities--pluripotency and limitless ability to self-replicate--make them invaluable tools for study. Because the cells can be studied in lab dishes instead of in living patients, they open the door to human model studies of cell development, disease progression and new treatment trials never before possible, making them the basis of an exciting new frontier in medicine.