Understanding Stem Cells part 2

Stem cell 5


Once they had recognized the medical potential of regeneration through the success of bone marrow transplants, scientists sought to identify similar cells within the embryo. Early studies of human development had demonstrated that the cells of the embryo were capable of producing every cell type in the human body. Scientists were able to extract embryonic strem cells from mice in 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1998 that a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison became the first group to isolate human embryonic stem cells and keep them alive in the laboratory. The team knew that they had in fact isolated stem cells because the cells could remain unspecialized for long periods of time, yet maintained the ability to transform into a variety of specialized cell types, including nerve, gut, muscle, bone, and cartilage cells.

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