Embryonic stem cells are cells that are able to grow into other cell types. We use the word pluripotent to refer to them. ES cells are differentiated by their two properties, which are their ability to grow into other cell types and their ability to replicate unlimited cells. ES cells are different from adult stem cells because of their pluripotency. Adult stem cells are multipotent, meaning that they can only produce a limited number of cells. ES cells originate from embryos that are about 4-5 days old. About 50-150 ES cells form in an embryo.
According to The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), ES cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases. Before these cells are tested in human diseases, the right cell type must be grown by researchers, and these new grown cells must be tested on animals first before being tested on humans. Damaged tissue is then replaced/repaired by these mature cells.There are a few examples so far of ES cell-based therapy(treatment) using animals with diseases that have provided encouraging and promising results. Researchers state that neurons (nerve cells) that were previously damaged by Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other neurological problems could be replaced by this type of treatment. The study of how stem cells develop into heart muscle cells could provide us with clues of how we could get heart muscle to repair itself after a heart attack.
The availability of human ES cells could open extraordinary opportunities for the transplantation of tissue.