Adult stem cells can be found in many places within the human body. It can be found in bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, placenta, brain, skeletal muscle, hair follicales, fat, and many others.
These adult stem cells are isolated from the patient, multiplied in the lab, directed towards the cell needed, and inserted at the place where tissue needs to be repaired or replaced.
Adult stem cells have been used for the past 30 years to treat many diseases. However, it has not been till recently when research has unlocked the great potentials of the use of adult stem cells.
To date, they have been used to treat 73 diseases, including:
Many people discount adult stem cells because, as multipotent stem cells, their potential is “limited” compared to the unlimited potential of pluripotent hESC. However, some research is beginning to show that adult stem cells may in fact be pluripotent.
From the National Institute of Health:
“Adult stem cells are generally limited to differentiating into different cell types of their tissue of origin. However, some evidence suggests that adult stem cell plasticity (pluripotency) may exist, increasing the number of cell types a given adult stem cell can become.”
In just one example, Keone Penn, a young boy from Georgia, was cured of sickle cell anemia by a umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant.
60 Minutes II: Holy Grail
June 5, 2002
"Stem cells are thought of as the Holy Grail of medicine. One young boy agrees with that. He made medical history because he's been cured of his life-threatening disease. The key to his cure did not come from a human embryo, where all the controversy is, but from something that is routinely tossed in the garbage - an umbilical cord. Umbilical cords were always considered medical waste. Not anymore."
Adult (ethical) stem cells are treating and curing many diseases as we speak, and there are encouraging signs of their pluripotency, especially among umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Take a look at our next section about the cutting edge of ethical stem cell research.
| <<<Previous: Embryonic Stem Cell Research||Next: The New Development: iPSCR >>>|
>>> For a quick look at why ESCR and cloning should be banned, see our "Three Reasons".
>>> Embryonic SCR and Human Cloning are effectively banned in LA. Learn about our Laws.