Here’s a low-down on the latest buzzword in town – stem cell therapy.
Here’s a low-down on the latest buzzword in town – stem cell therapy.(Photo: iStock)
  • 1. What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
  • 2. Where Can Stem Cell Therapy Be Used?
  • 3. From Where Can Stem Cells be Harvested?
  • 4. How Much Can Stem Cell Therapy Benefit?
  • 5. Are There Any Side Effects?
From Hair to Flesh: Is Stem Cell Therapy a Hope to Treat Diseases?

What’s common between a neuron in your body, your hair, and your favourite piece of meat? The fact that all of them can be artificially grown from tiny stem cells.

These lab experiments aren’t just for fun though. Stem cell therapy, or treatment of medical conditions using stem cells, is a growing area in the medical field. So much so that the government wants to list stem cells as drugs, in order to regulate their use in therapy.

But what exactly is stem cell therapy? Where can it help? What are its benefits? Who can get it? Here’s a low-down on the latest buzzword in town.

  • 1. What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

    Stem cells are the building blocks of our body. They can renew themselves through cell division. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become a specialised cell, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

    Too caught up to read? Listen to the story:

    Stem cells regenerate and repair damaged tissues and organs affected by age, disease and congenital defects.
    Here’s a low-down on the latest buzzword in town – stem cell therapy.
    (Photo: iStock)

    Under certain experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. This is the basis of stem cell therapy.

    Stem cells extracted usually from human bone marrow, circulating blood or umbilical cord blood are used to treat serious medical conditions. For example, if healthy blood cells have been destroyed in a patient due to any medical condition, they can have bone marrow stem cell transplants from healthy donors. This will allow their bodies to start making healthy blood cells again.

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