Understanding Stem Cells part 23

Stem cell 5


Once they have established a stem cell line, scientists start the process of causing the stem cells to differentiate into specialized cell types. The cellular environment in which stem cells naturally reside provides scientists with clues about how to make them differentiate in a culture dish. For example, in the bone marrow, where the blood stem cells reside, bone cells send physical and chemical signals that tell the blood stem cells when to differentiate. Scientists are just beginning to understand these signals and have developed ways to mimic the natural processes in cell cultures. Usually, the technology involves adding certain proteins to the cell culture and, in some cases, introducing specific genes into the stem cells.

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