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STEM CELLS

A stem cell is a special type of undifferentiated cell that has a unique property of being able to become any type of cell in the body, whether that is a healthy differentiated specialised cell1)http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx (e.g. muscle, bone, eye or organ cell) or a dis-eased cell2)Shi-Ming Tu 2013, Cancer: a “stem-cell” disease?, Cancer Cell Int., 13: 40.

 

An exciting scientific discovery in 2006 demonstrated that differentiated specialised cells can be induced back into a ‘stem-cell like state’ (referred to as dedifferentiation) given the appropriate environment. They refer to this cell as an induced pluripotent stem cell 3)http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx).

 

Scientifically, what I thought was even more interesting is that this potential can occur in dis-eased cells! This was suggested by a research scientist 4)Shi-Ming Tu 2013, Cancer: a “stem-cell” disease?, Cancer Cell Int., 13: 40 who stated that: ‘There appears to be a malignant potential in every stem cell and a stem cell potential in every malignant cell.’

 

Dis-eased cells, given an appropriate environment, such as healthy bio-electric signals and cues, can revert back to a healthy cell! Take this a step further, the science of brain neuroplasticity now shows that the former scientific belief that the human brain was fixed has been proven not to be the case.

 

References   [ + ]

1, 3. http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx
2, 4. Shi-Ming Tu 2013, Cancer: a “stem-cell” disease?, Cancer Cell Int., 13: 40