B2(iii) - Genetics 4.

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Stem Cells.

Stem cell research has exciting possibilities, but it is also pretty controversial.

Embryonic Stem Cells Can Turn into ANY Type of Cell.

1) Most cells in your body are specialised for a particular job. E.g. White blood cells are brilliant at fighting invaders but can't carry oxygen, like red blood cells.

2) Differentiation is the process by which a cell changes to become specialised for it's job. In most animal cells, the ability to differentiate is lost at an early stage, but lots of plant cells don't ever lose this ability.  

3) Some cells are undifferentiated. They can develop into different types of cell depending on what instructions they are given. These are called stem cells.

4) Steam cells are found in early human embryos. They're exciting to doctors and medical researchers because they have the potential to turn into any kind of cell at all. This makes sense if you think about it, all the different types of cells found in the human being have to come from those few cells in the early embryo.  

5) Adults also have stem cells, but they are found in certain places, like bone marrow. These aren't as versatile as embryonic stem cells they…


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