Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963954 | Print ISBN: 9781412959087 | Online ISBN: 9781412963954 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cells, Sources of
Faris Khan & Faisal Habib Cheema
THE TURN OF the 21st century brought about dazzling advances in biomédical research. The progress made in the field of medicine, and particularly the discovery of stem cells, opened new avenues for treating conditions that would have been incurable otherwise. Though much experimental work has been done on stem cells, the clinical translation is still in initial phases. Stem cells were identified in the early 1980s from a mouse blastocyst; it took scientists almost two decades before successfully isolating them from human blastocysts. The striking features of stem cells are their qualities of self—renewal and pluripotency, which enable them to develop into various kinds of adult tissue if a suitable environment for nurturing is provided. By regenerating damaged tissue using stem cells, scientists are trying to find ways to treat many diseases including, but not limited to, Parkinson's disease, myocardial infarction, diabetes, and spinal cord injury. Although it is too ...