In the year 1997, just 24 years ago, the general public had no idea what stem cells were. Scientists themselves were on the brink of understanding more about stem cells at this time, but it still was hardly a development.
Nowadays, we’re very familiar with the term. We have some (albeit, limited) understanding as to how they work, but there’s a lot about stem cells that is still being understood. Even for researchers in the medical field, new discoveries and potential advancements are being worked on at a fairly consistent level.
In spite of all that we’re still learning about stem cells, there is much that we already know. Stem Cell Carolina is taking a moment to address some of the basic facts about stem cells.
1. Stem cells are highly adaptable.
What’s interesting about stem cells is that they can be used in a variety of medical applications.
According to the National Institutes of Health, stem cells are different from other cells in two ways. They are unspecialized cells that can renew and duplicate themselves through cell division, even after being inactive for long periods of time. Additionally, under certain conditions, they can become specific types of cells with specialized functions or roles.”
What this means is that, because stem cells are unspecialized, they can be worked to adapt to various other functions throughout the body. They aren’t limited to a certain organ or tissue.
2. They come from three main sources.
Based on our current research, we can find stem cells and harvest them from three main sources: blood, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood. For a while, people were saving umbilical cords and placentas from birth to use the stem cells later on as needed (such as saving a child’s life, should they develop leukemia or another form of cancer).
While umbilical cord stem cells are highly valuable, they usually cannot be used for the same person — a child with leukemia, for example, might have already had those cells present in their blood at birth.
3. Studies were first conducted using mouse embryos.
Back in 1981, scientists discovered that they could take embryonic stem cells from mouse embryos. This marked the first time that work with stem cells had been performed. It was over a decade later in 1998 when scientists began mimicking this process with humans and were able to construct a method to harvest stem cells from human embryos.
Additionally, researchers figured out how to grow stem cells in a lab. Embryonic stem cells are actually derived from human eggs that are fertilized in a lab and do not come directly from a woman.
4. There’s a lot of potential for diseases that could be cured.
As ABC News reports, there are so many maladies and illnesses that could be treated through the use of stem cell therapy including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- The effects of a stroke
- Joint problems such as arthritis
- Birth defects
- Severe burns on the skin.
When it comes to the future of stem cells, the sky is practically the limit for what they can do.
5. You can receive stem cell treatments at Stem Cell Carolina!
Our Charlotte stem cell center specializes in treating various joint problems. We are committed to providing safe and proven methods to help you get your life back on track. You use and rely upon your joints every day, and when they’re causing you pain, it’s more than a nuisance — it’s a problem that’s holding you back.
We advise these treatments for patients who have experienced moderate osteoarthritis in their hip, knee, and shoulder, where the joints are still intact. Additionally, our stem cell center can provide treatments on occasion for various soft tissue injuries — visit our FAQ page to get even more information on whether you would be a good candidate!
Consulting with our stem cell center is at least one way that you can see potential treatment options and outcomes. Contact us today to get help with knee pain, shoulder pain, tendinitis, and any other ligament problems you’ve been experiencing!