Stem cells
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STEM CELLS. By: Harsukh B, Ritu P, Yuchi W, Faiza J, Jathuson J. Targeted Areas of Discussion. Biological Background Technology Used in the Process Ethical and Social Issues Political Issues Economic Issues Current Medical Use Future Vision for this Technology.

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Stem cells


By: Harsukh B, Ritu P, Yuchi W, Faiza J, Jathuson J

Targeted areas of discussion

Targeted Areas of Discussion

  • Biological Background

  • Technology Used in the Process

  • Ethical and Social Issues

  • Political Issues

  • Economic Issues

  • Current Medical Use

  • Future Vision for this Technology

Stem cells

Biological Background

General properties of all stem cells

General Properties of All Stem Cells

Can divide indefinitely

Undifferentiated cells

Can transform into any type of body cell

Contain the enzyme telomerase—which allows cells to grow and proliferate

There are two types of stem cells:

Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Adult Embryonic Stem Cells

Properties of human embryonic stem cells

Properties of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Able to continue dividing indefinitely without losing their genetic structure

Can be manipulated without losing cell function

Cells are pluripotent: able to differentiate into all the 220 cell types in the adult body.

Where do we get the embryos

Where do we get the Embryos?

In the In vitro fertilization the embryos not used for fertilization are frozen and are used for this research

Come from embryos that are in blatocyst stage

A stage where a pair of stem cells are grouped together which later differentiate to form the human.

Are derived from the epiblast tissue of the inner cell mass (ICM) of a blastocyst

Scientist can then form cell lines: a stock of living embryonic stem cells without always having to obtain them from a human embryo because they reproduce into identical daughter cells under ideal conditions

Scientists and their work

Scientists and their Work

Scientists remove the pluripotent cells using a pipette and transfer them into a Petri dish in a lab

Human Embryonic Stem cells are grown on a feeder layer of mouse embryonic fibroblasts and require the presence of basic Fibroblast Growth Factor

Scientists add various chemicals to direct the growth of the cells

Embryonic Stem cells, being pluripotent cells, require specific signals for correct differentiation or they differentiate into all the different types of body cells



If injected directly into another body, Embryonic Stem cells will differentiate into many different types of cells, causing a teratoma.

Every time Embryonic Stem cells are transplanted they have a different genetic background than the patient- can lead to rejection of the cells

Bacteria Infested Cell

Properties of adult stem cells aka somatic stem cells

Properties of Adult Stem CellsAKA Somatic Stem Cells

Undifferentiated cells found among differentiated cells in a tissue

Role: to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found

May remain undifferentiated until needed

Not many of them in a tissue

Different types: hematopetic stem

cells(give rise to blood cells) and

mesenchymal stem cells(give rise

to bone, cartilage, fat cells)



Can make identical copies of themselves as long as the person is alive

Produce a intermediary cell called a precursor cell which matures into the copy of the Adult Embryonic stem Cell

Research suggests that these cells do not particularly differentiate into the organ they are set, they can divide into many other types of cells this process is known as plasticity

Ex. Bone stem cells can differentiate into liver cell



They avoid the rejection of stem cells from transplantation because they are generated from the same individuals body

Successful in treating leukemia and related bone/blood cancers through bone marrow transplants

Used in veterinary medicine to treat tendon and ligament injuries in horses



Harder for scientists to manipulate them with different chemicals

Hard to find one undifferentiated stem cell amongst billions of differentiated cells

Grow slowly and have a limited life span when grown in an in vitro in a lab

How do all the stem cells differentiate

How do ALL the stem cells differentiate?

Internal signals which are controlled by cell genes

External signals:

Chemicals secreted by other cells

Physical contact with neighboring cells

Technology used in the process

Technology Used in the Process

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