Adult Stem Cell or Embryonic Stem Cell – What is the Difference?

This question is at the center of all the media controversy – embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells– which is best, as both sides of this issue are fighting for government research money to forward their research. Very simply put, this is the basic difference between the two types of stem cells.

Embryonic Stem Cells
These stem cells come from the very early embryo and they are unique in that they have the ability to duplicate themselves outside of the body…such as in a petri dish or test tube. The embryonic stem cells were the first stem cells to be research by scientists and in when it was discovered that they grew very easily and quite rapidly under laboratory conditions a lot of focus was put on them. Scientists were successfully growing any type of cell – heart cells, liver cells, brain cells, bone cells, and more -- from the embryonic stem cell.

Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are only found in the body after birth. Additionally, they do not duplicate themselves well outside of the human body. So, in the beginning of this research, it was thought that the embryonic stem cells were superior to the adult stem cells for this reason. However, in the past few years, it has been discovered that adult stem cells, even though they are not well duplicated in a test tube or petri dish, they do grow just as rapidly and easily as the embryonic stem cells inside the human body. Hence, they have the capabilities of the embryonic stem cells, but only from the environment of the human body itself.

Now that I have this understanding, it seems the biggest question is how and where do we harvest these stem cells? My questions are, how many stem cells can be taken from embryos and how many embryos must be used as well as where do we get the adult stem cells from and what procedure is used to retrieve them?

DISCLAIMER - The information on this Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only. I am not a doctor and I am not attempting to prescribe, treat, prevent or recommend. The information contained on this site is not intended to be a substitute for a health care provider's consultation. The content is based upon the opinions of each respective author. The reader is encouraged to make their own health care decisions that can be based upon research and then partnering with their own health care professional. If you are ill please consult a qualified physician or appropriate health care provider of your choice.

End of Post

--- Adult Stem Cell or Embryonic Stem Cell – What is the Difference? ---

No comments: