Stem cells have the potential to: • Replace cell tissue that has been damaged or destroyed by illness, • Replicate themselves over and over for a very long time, • Help scientists understand the origin of human biological development • Help scientists understand healthy & diseased cells in hope of creating treatments & cures for many diseases.
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) notes that stem cells “have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each ‘daughter’ cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. A more detailed primer on stem cells can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics.”