By nature we take over many things like color of eyes, color and style of hair etc. from our parents. It can also be said that many things run in the family due to genetical reasons. As we look similar to some of our relatives similarly our stem cells donation also match.
But what are stem cells?
Stem cells are tiny cells found in the cord blood of the baby. They are a kind of raw material derived from the body of the baby which can generate various types of cells with special functions. These stem cells can be divided in the body or in a lab, under suitable conditions, to form more cells known as daughter cells. These daughter cells can either renew themselves as new stem cells or become cells with more particular functions like brain cells, blood cells, bone cells and cells of heart muscle. This natural ability to generate new types of cells is not available to any other cell in the human body.
Use of stem cells
These stem cells can be used for treating various types of diseases. But who can use these cells? These cells can be used depending upon the types of treatment as well as stem cell match with the user. For example, the baby whose stem cells you have can perfectly match with them and can use them in some of the treatments in which stem cells can be transplanted. They can also be used, by first or second degree member of the family of the baby, for certain treatments like blood disorders and cancers etc, if he/she matches suitably with the stem cells. For this reason, today, it has become important to save the stem cells of the child for the health safety of his family.
Reasons of increasing interest in stem cells
Doctors and researchers are interested in stem cells because they can be helpful for them in many ways like:
Understanding the occurrence of various diseases
Doctors and researchers can understand the development of various conditions and diseases by observing the stem cells when they are maturing into heart muscle cells, bone cells, tissues, organs and nerves.
Replace diseased cells and making them healthy
Stem cells can be used to repair and regenerate the damaged or diseased tissues in human body, when they are allowed to become cells of particular types. People having injury in spinal cord, Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, heart disease, osteoarthritis, buns and cancer can also be benefited by using the therapy of stem cells.
Testing the effectiveness and safety of new drugs
Before testing a drug, in investigation stage, on humans, certain type of stem cells are used by the researchers to know about the quality and safety features of that drug. In modern ways of testing effectiveness of new drugs programmed human stem cells, found in specific tissues, are used. These cells have to be programmed for testing new drugs accurately so that they can get the properties of the cells targeted by that drug. However the techniques of programming stem cells is still in its development stage
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