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Stem Cells. S.V. Table of Contents. What are Stem Cells? Classification of Stem Cells Current Uses of Stem Cells Legal Restrictions Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Therapeutic Cloning Potential Use of Stem Cells New & Exciting Research Conclusion. Stem Cells.

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Stem cells



Stem cells

Table of Contents

  • What are Stem Cells?

  • Classification of Stem Cells

  • Current Uses of Stem Cells

  • Legal Restrictions

  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

  • Therapeutic Cloning

  • Potential Use of Stem Cells

  • New & Exciting Research

  • Conclusion

Stem cells

Stem Cells

Stem cells are pluripotent.

Stem cells serve as a repair system for the body.

Stem cells have the potential in many different areas of health and medical research.

By studying stem cells we can understand diseases and how serious conditions occur.

Stem cells may be used one day in the future to make cells and tissues for therapy for many different diseases.



  • Potential as Therapy:

  • ES cells are pluripotent

  • ES cells are a promising source of cells for treating diseases

  • Formed as a normal part of embryonic development

  • Can be isolated from an early embryo and grown in a dish

  • Special Considerations:

  • Patient’s immune system will recognize transplanted stem cells as foreign and attack them

  • Ethical Considerations:

  • when hES cells are isolated from an embryo the embryo is destroyed

Stem cells



  • Also called adult stem cells

  • Exist naturally in body

  • Important for growth, healing, and replacing cells lost through daily wear and tear

  • Can become only a subset of related cell types

  • Potential as Therapy:

  • Can treat blood and skin diseases

  • Only certain cells can be produced from somatic stem cells

  • Special Considerations:

  • Cells low in abundance

  • Difficult to isolate and grow in culture

  • Can be transplanted but will be attacked by patient’s immune system

  • Ethical Considerations:

  • Not controversial

  • Same ethical considerations that apply to all medical procedures

Stem cells

Current Uses

Skin Disease


  • Stem cell therapies are not new

  • Somatic Cell Therapy for blood and skin diseases

  • Regenerative capabilities of human skin to treat victims of severe burns using skin transplants

  • Possible cause stem cells located under top layer of skin that reproduce worn out skin cells daily

  • After severe burns, source of these reproducing stem cells are destroyed

  • Past: used to treat burns by transplanting sections of skin of undamaged area to burned areas but if not enough unharmed skin found then no treatment

  • Now: scientists grow sheets of new skin by culturing stem cells from small pieces of healthy skin

Stem cells

Current Uses

Blood &Bone

Marrow Therapies

  • Peripheral Blood and Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

  • Now we can drive hematopoietic stem cells from blood in umbilical cords and placentas at birth and from peripheral blood

  • Problem with PBSC’s is that due to small quantity it’s difficult to collect enough for a transplant

  • Umbilical cord blood lacks immune cells so there is less chance of transplanted cells will attack recipients body

  • Stem cells from umbilical cords and placentas are more accessible than from the bone marrow

  • Can already treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, bone marrow damage, some metabolic disorders and immunodeficiencies where the body has lost ability to replenish its healthy blood cells

  • Hematopoietic stem cell gives rise to all blood cells

  • Only way to use hematopoietic stem cells is bone marrow transplants

  • Scientists are exploring new use for these stem cells that go beyond blood related diseases

Stem cells



  • Governed by Assisted Humans Reproduction Act Protect principles of free and informed consent, human dignity, non-commercialization of gametes and embryos and respect for embryos

  • Not ethically acceptable to create human embryos for research

  • In vitro fertilization embryos may be used

  • Reproductive and research cloning are prohibited and punishable

Stem cells

How do

"Stem Cells”

seem to be

evolving in

the future?

Stem cells


Induced Pluripotent

  • Potential as Therapy:

  • Mouse iPS cells can become any cell in body of a mouse

  • Predictably same for humans

  • Promising source of cells for treating diseases

  • Created artificially by reprogramming patient’s cells

  • Made from readily available somatic cells

  • An alternate to hES but not the same

  • Special Considerations:

  • Much cheaper to generate than ES cells from therapeutic cloning

  • No danger or immune system rejection

  • Ethical Considerations:

  • Same ethical considerations that apply to all medical procedures

Stem cells


Therapeutic Cloning

  • Potential as Therapy:

  • in theory, can generate hES cells with potential to become any type of cell in human body

  • No possible rejection by immune system

  • Method of cloning patient-specific embryonic stem cells

  • Also known as nuclear transfer

  • Ethical Considerations:

  • Involves creating clone of human being

  • Destroying cloned embryo

  • Requires human egg donor

  • Special Considerations:

  • Not successful in creating human embryoto blastocyst stage

  • In animals cloning has been time consuming, inefficient and expensive.

Stem cells

Potential Uses

  • Resource for Testing New Medical Treatments

  • By either obtaining or producing stem cells (from embryo, iPS or therapeutic cloning) we can test new medications on these stem cells to see how they react

  • There are many potential uses and applications of Stem Cells.

  • The three I am going to discuss are:

  • Resource for Testing New Medical Treatments

  • Development and Disease Research

  • Regenerative Medicine

  • Development and Disease Research

  • Development of Embryos

  • Research on diseases like Parkinson’s or Cancer

  • Normal stem cells and tumor stem cells exist in low number but can replicate and differentiate

  • Cancerous stem cells lack control to stop diving

  • Research in difference in gene expression between normal and tumor stem cells may lead to treatments where the root of the problem occurs

Stem cells

Potential Uses

  • Regenerative Medicine

  • New field that aims to use stem cells to repair damaged tissues that can’t heal itself

  • Many animals can grow new body ports

  • Regeneration in humans is limited , human stem cells can only heal injuries not replace missing pieces

  • Scientists are looking for ways to activate stem cells inside the body and coax them to go beyond their natural healing abilities

  • Some existing drugs can activate stem cells, thus scientists may be able to develop new drugs that will activate other types of stem cells to heal damaged tissue

  • Scientists trying to use hES and iPS stem cells to grow organs or stem cells to treat diseases or damages

  • Tissue engineers can grow patches of repaired damaged heart tissue

  • In animals they can grow whole hearts, livers, lungs and kidneys

Stem cells

New Research

  • Antipsychotic drug, Thioridazine, found by McMaster University researchers, is a “smart drug” that kills only cancer stem cells and appears to have no effect on normal cells

  • Was removed from shelved by Health Canada because it causes irregular heartbeat that may cause sudden death

  • One of 26 drugs found by Bhatia and his team

  • Studying how Thioridazine works also led McMaster researchers to discover new ways in which cancer stem cells grow and evolve.

Stem cells


As we grow from fertilized eggs into fully formed human beings, stem cells give rise to all of our differentiated tissues and organs. Stem cells continue to play an important role throughout our lives as they help to heal and maintain our bodies. Stem cells offer an exciting promise for future therapies and may be used one day to make cells and tissues for therapy for many devastating diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Diabetes.

Stem cells


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Stem cells


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  • Stem Cell Network. (2009). Canada's Regulatory Oversight of Stem Cell Research. Retrieved May, 2012, from index.php?page=canada-s-regulatory-oversight-of-stem-cell-research

  • Frketich, J. (2012, May 25). Drug that kills cancer stem cells has safety concerns . Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved from http:/ 730705--drug-that-kills- cancer-stem-cells-has-safety-concerns

Stem cells

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