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What are the different tpes of stem cells? What are their functions?

There are Embryonic stem cells, which are taken from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst stage at 6-9 days after fertilization; they are retrieved from embryos. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent which means that they can turn into different types of cells. There is a debate over whether these type of embryonic stem cells should be used or not. Taking embryonic cells is killing an embryo that has the potential of becoming a human being; however those embryonic stem cells can also fight diseases and save lives.


Adult stem cells are found throughout a fully developed embryo. These stem cells basically regenerate and multiply by cell division in order to restore dying cells. This ability to regenerate dying cells is what's grabbed the interest of many scientists. Whatever organ these stem cells come from, they can restore the cells of that specific organ. The use of adult stem cells for therapy and research is not considered to be an offense to human life as they are retrieved from a fully developed embryo.

Totipotent stem cells are stem cells that are created when the human sperm unites with the egg. Once that happens, the egg goes through early cell division and this creates more totipotent cells. If the stages of development continues these totipotent stem cells will develop into pluripotent cells. Totipotent stem cells have two distinguishing abilities: they can turn into any cell type in a fully developed human body, and they can replicate in unlimited amounts without losing their efficiency.

Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to duplicate and turn into any type of cell, however once the cells have passed the embryo stage of development, there are only certain types of cells that they can become. Pluripotent cells often develop into nerve cells or muscles. Embryonic cells are also known to be pluripotent. Pluripotent cells aren't like totipotent stem cells meaning they don't develop into an organism; they only develop into different types of cells.

Multipotent stem cells these cells are found in the tissue of adult mammals. Their main function is to replace diseased or dead cells with new ones in an individual. Multipotent stem cells can give rise to different types of cells, but it cannot differentiate into such a broad range as the types of cells they become are closely linked much like a “family”. There is current research taking place on multipotent stem cells regarding the neural cell that they can turn into. The neural cell they can turn into and duplicate can help cure spinal cord and brain related diseases which makes this research vital for treating such diseases.

Types of Stem Cells | Stem Cells vs. Cancer | Embryonic Cells | Sources
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