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6 Sources of Stem Cells

In the early stages of stem cell research, bone marrow was the sole source. Since then a number of other sources have been found to contain stem cells.

Bone marrow stem cell usually come from the long bones. The best sources are pelvic bones, femur and sheen bone. The bone marrow stem cells are adult stem cells and therefore not as diversified and potent to differentiate as compared to embryonic stem cells.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are obtained from the umbilical cord blood, which are collected just after the birth of the baby.

Embryonic cells are obtained from the blastocyst phase of the embryo. Cells are highly efficient in producing newer types of cells.

Placental stem cells provide almost all the life supports to keep a baby alive. After birth it has been found to give rise to more number of stem cells as compared to embryonic stem cells.

Menstrual stem cells have an extra-ordinary improvement over the umbilical cord blood cells. They have a rapid growth rate.

Dental stem cells are cells obtained from tooth pulp generally from babies or from wisdom teeth. This has been found to produce bones, cartilage, muscle cells if cultured.

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Stem Cells Proving Effective in Fighting Cancer

Embryonic stem cells are once again getting attention this year, because of work being done by scientists at the University of Minnesota.

“Embryonic stem cells are often talked about to treat things like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury,” says researcher Dan Kaufman. “Now we really can add cancer to that list.”

Dr. Kaufman says his research team used embryonic stem cells to produce natural killer cells. Those killer cells were then used on a dozen mice that had leukemia tumors. “Every mouse that we treated with these cells, the cancer went away completely,” said Dr.Kaufman.

The scientists also produced natural killer cells from other sources, like umbilical cord blood, with less positive results. It’s proof, Dr. Kaufman says, that embryonic stem cells will play a key role in cell-based cancer therapies. In lab experiments, researchers also found the natural killer cells derived from embryonic stem cells were effective in killing breast cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and brain tumor cells.

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