Stem Cells Concept Map

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  • Stem Cells
    • Sources
      • Embryonic stem cells
        • Created by fertilizing egg cells with sperm and procuring developed cells
        • Advantages
          • Almost unlimited growth potential
          • Can differentiate into any type of cell
          • Less chance of accumulated mutation
        • Disadvantages
          • Risk of becoming tumor cells
          • Probably genetically different from adult patient receiving cells
          • Kills embryo
      • Cord blood stem cells
        • Stem-cell containing blood is acquired from new-born's umbilical cord
        • Advantages
          • Easily acquired and stored
          • Compatible with adult tissue
          • Umbilical cord is discarded afterward either way
          • Does not kill baby
        • Disadvantages
          • Limited quantity of cells
          • Limited differentiation capacity
      • Adult stem cells
        • Obtained from tissues such as bone marrow
        • Advantages
          • Less chance of becoming tumor cells
          • Compatible with adult tissue
          • Does not kill adult
        • Disadvantages
          • Only a few and are buried deep in tissues
          • Less growth potential
          • Limited differentiation capacity
    • Applications
      • Can be used to treat diseases which need replacement of cells
        • Leukemia
          • Type of cancer
            • Bone marrow produces an abnormally large amount of white blood cells
          • Cure
            • Adult stem cells
              • Stem cells are extracted from large bone. Chemotherapy is given to kill cancer cells. Stem cells are returned and become blood cells.
                • This usually cures leukemia completely.
        • Stargardt's macular dystrophy
          • Photoreceptive cells in retina degenerate.
          • Cure
            • Embryonic stem cells
              • Retina cells derived from embryonic stem cells are injected into the eyes. The cells attach to the retina and remain, improving vision.
                • More trials are necessary, but this could potentially be an official treatment to Stargardt's disease.
  • Disadvantages
    • Limited quantity of cells
    • Limited differentiation capacity

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