The basic unit from which all living organisms are built up, consisting of a cell membrane surrounding cytoplasm and a nucleus.
Cells which can divide repeatedly without becoming differentiated and have the capacity to develop into a diverse range of specialised cell types.
Stem cells exist naturally in the body to replace damaged cells and tissues. Research into stem cells could allow:
- the development of a treatment that allows people paralysed because of spinal injuries to walk again
- the possiblility of growing replacement organs that are matched to the patient
- genetic disorders to be studied and new drugs to treat them tested
None of these are readily available yet - but trials are underway to investigate whether they are possible.
Click here to download the Stem Cell Research poster shown below.