Stem cell research holds tremendous promise for the development of novel therapies for many serious diseases and injuries. While stem cell-based treatments have been established as a clinical standard of care for some conditions, such as hamatopoietic stem cell transplants for leukemia and epithelial stem sell-based treatments for burns and corneal disorders, the scope of potential stem cell-based therapies has expanded in recent years due to advances in stem cell research. It is impossible to project when actual treatments or cures might emerge from such research, put the paths this research might take and potential applications have been much discussed. Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies.