What are Stem Cells?
Multicellular organisms which are capable of producing indefinitely more cells of the same type
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can turn into almost any specific cell, as the body needs them, or as we point them in the right direction.
Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body. All stem cells—regardless of their source—have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types.
Cells in the body have specific purposes, but stem cells are cells that do not yet have a specific role and can become almost any cell that is required. This usually happens under the influence of surrounding cells, which affect stem cells by specific chemicals. Not every adult stem cell can differentiate into any kind of cell. Depending on the tissue that they derive from, adult stem cells are partially differentiated – pluripotent – and can differentiate into a couple of cell types.
However, stem cells can be difficult to find. They can stay non-dividing and non-specific for years until the body summons them to repair or grow new tissue.
This division and regeneration are how a skin wound heals, or how an organ such as the liver, for example, can repair itself after damage.
How do stem cells work?
They convince your body to give itself a second chance at healing the injury
When stem cells are injected into a problematic area, they ‘trick’ your body into thinking that there has been a new injury without actually causing any tissue damage. This gives your body get a second chance at healing the injury. When stem cells encounter damaged tissue they release proteins that decrease inflammation, kill microbes, and trigger the growth of new tissues and blood vessels. In the case of severe damage and cell death, they have the ability to turn into healthy versions of damaged or destroyed cells that they encounter.