Editors’ pickHealth

Stem cells

Embryonic Stem Cells

Introduction

Have you ever wondered what causes and cures depression?

Stem cells, the blueprint cells of our body, are the cause of this.

Definition

What are stem cells? Stem cells are cell blueprints that sit at various places in the body and copy themselves to make sure we have a good supply of fresh, young cells. They can turn into many types of cells, which I will write about below, as our body needs it. Stem cells are additionally able to (as I will mention later on) provide a supplement for cells that need healing.

Types

There are five types of stem cells :

Embryonic stem cells, that come after the sperm fertilizes an egg. About 3 to 5 days after the pregnancy is initiated, a blastocyst/ball of cells forms from the embryo. After this, in about 4 to 5 days, the stem cells arise and this is how they’re formed.

Adult or tissue-specific stem cells, which are found in small numbers in most of our bodies’ tissues. These stem cells are found in many places such as your bone marrow, your bloodstream, your brain, the muscles in your skeleton, your liver, and your skin!

Induced pluripotent stem cells, which are regular cells that scientists have altered to act like embryonic stem cells. Scientists extract cells from tissue-specific cells.

Mesenchymal stem cells, cells found in the stroma/connective tissue around the body’s tissues. They are being used to create new bone tissues, and have hope for the future.

Amniotic fluid + Cord blood stem cells. Cord blood stem cells are found in the umbilical cord after birth, and are able to be frozen to be used in the future. These cells can treat people with blood problems. There are also cells found in amniotic fluid, which is the liquid around the developing baby in a mother’s womb.

Contrary to what you might believe, these cells do have a very large medical benefit. There have been several studies that I will elaborate on below.

Studies

In a study with mice, scientists observed that as the stem cells in their brain disappeared, they began to become more prone to diseases. They decided to take stem cells from baby mice brains and inject them into the brains (hypothalamus) of middle-aged/old-aged mice.

If you wanted to know, a hypothalamus is a polyp that helps regulate a ton of the body’s functions. The new, nice stem cells reinvigorated older ones by secreting Micro RNAs that stabilized their metabolism.

After 4 months, the treated mice’ brains and muscles worked much better than those of the untreated mice. On average, the treated mice lived 10% longer.

In 2016, stem cells injected into the brains of stroke patients helped them walk! Before the surgery, one of the patients’ right arm was numb, but the surgery ‘woke it up’.

Curing several sicknesses

Looking at one specific sickness, cancer, it’s generally caused by stem cells that are mutated. Statistically, cancer in kids is ‘90% curable’. Yet, cancer in people over 25 is almost incurable.

This is because the supply of stem cells declines as we age. Adding a new supply of stem cells frequently to regions of the body like the hypothalamus could slow down, or reverse the aging process.

Celularity is a biotechnology company looking to cure several sicknesses + diseases with the use of stem cells. They distribute products that regenerate stem cells and eradicate the mutated cells.

They produce allogeneic cells + tissues found in the postpartum placenta. These are able to increase our bodies’ abilities to fight disease, to heal, and to regenerate, and improve our longevity + immunity.

A San Diego based company, ViaCyte, is working on curing diabetes with stem cells. They’ve spent many years trying to figure out how to turn human embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells.

The Stanford University of Medicine is currently working on clinical trials with stem cells, and the results so far are that stem cells could benefit stroke patients. These findings are revolutionary considering the fact that we haven’t previously cured any of this.

When you ponder all of this, theoretically, with a constant supply of fresh stem cells, you could lead a generally youthful life with fewer diseases.

The Stem Cell Policy (Obama)

  1. “Research involving human embryonic stem cells and human non-embryonic stem cells has the potential to lead to better understanding and treatment of many disabling diseases and conditions. Advances over the past decade in this promising scientific field have been encouraging, leading to broad agreement in the scientific community that the research should be supported by Federal funds. For the past 8 years, the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to fund and conduct human embryonic stem cell research has been limited by Presidential actions. The purpose of this order is to remove these limitations on scientific inquiry, to expand NIH support for the exploration of human stem cell research, and in so doing to enhance the contribution of America’s scientists to important new discoveries and new therapies for the benefit of humankind.”
  2. “The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.”
  3. “Within 120 days from the date of this order, the Secretary, through the Director of NIH, shall review existing NIH guidance and other widely recognized guidelines on human stem cell research, including provisions establishing appropriate safeguards, and issue new NIH guidance on such research that is consistent with this order. The Secretary, through NIH, shall review and update such guidance periodically, as appropriate.”
  4. “(a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. © This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.”

Above, these are Obama’s new statements opening and removing the limits of stem cell research.

What you can do

Visit lifespan.io for more information, and if you’re interested in this topic, then research further about this. Remember never to take mental illnesses or any of the conditions mentioned above lightly.

If you enjoy this or the concept of this, do further research at the website in the ‘More Information’ section and reach out to a scientist!

Key takeaways

  • Stem cells are cell blueprints that give us a constant supply of fresh cells.
  • Stem cells can become any cell, and have 5 types (Mesenchymal, Cord Blood + Amniotic, Induced Pluripotent, Adult, and Embryotic).
  • Stem cells could cure diabetes, depression, cancer, and more!
  • Celularity + ViaCyte are companies you can look into; they’re researching this.
  • Obama has increased the amount of resources and freedom available for stem cell research.
  • For more information, visit the links below!

More information

https://www.lifespan.io/

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