What do stem cells look like

However, unspecialized stem cells can give rise to specialized cells, including heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells. Stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. When unspecialized stem cells give rise to specialized cells, the process is called differentiation. While differentiating, the cell usually goes through several stages, becoming more specialized at each step. Scientists are just beginning to understand the signals inside and outside cells that trigger each step of the differentiation process. The internal signals are controlled by a cell's genes , which are interspersed across long strands of DNA and carry coded instructions for all cellular structures and functions.

The external signals for cell differentiation include chemicals secreted by other cells, physical contact with neighboring cells, and certain molecules in the microenvironment. The interaction of signals during differentiation causes the cell's DNA to acquire epigenetic marks that restrict DNA expression in the cell and can be passed on through cell division.

Many questions about stem cell differentiation remain.

How Stem Cells Work

For example, are the internal and external signals for cell differentiation similar for all kinds of stem cells? Can specific sets of signals be identified that promote differentiation into specific cell types? Addressing these questions may lead scientists to find new ways to control stem cell differentiation in the laboratory, thereby growing cells or tissues that can be used for specific purposes such as cell-based therapies or drug screening.

Adult stem cells typically generate the cell types of the tissue in which they reside. For example, a blood-forming adult stem cell in the bone marrow normally gives rise to the many types of blood cells. It is generally accepted that a blood-forming cell in the bone marrow—which is called a hematopoietic stem cell —cannot give rise to the cells of a very different tissue, such as nerve cells in the brain.

Stem Cells Explained | What are Stem Cells?

Experiments over the last several years have purported to show that stem cells from one tissue may give rise to cell types of a completely different tissue. This remains an area of great debate within the research community.

This controversy demonstrates the challenges of studying adult stem cells and suggests that additional research using adult stem cells is necessary to understand their full potential as future therapies. What are the unique properties of all stem cells? Info Center.

What Are Stem Cells? Why Are They So Important? Part 1

Introduction: What are stem cells, and why are they important? What are embryonic stem cells? Stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. When unspecialized stem cells give rise to specialized cells, the process is called differentiation.

Stem Cell Basics II.

While differentiating, the cell usually goes through several stages, becoming more specialized at each step. Scientists are just beginning to understand the signals inside and outside cells that trigger each step of the differentiation process. The internal signals are controlled by a cell's genes , which are interspersed across long strands of DNA and carry coded instructions for all cellular structures and functions.

The external signals for cell differentiation include chemicals secreted by other cells, physical contact with neighboring cells, and certain molecules in the microenvironment.


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The interaction of signals during differentiation causes the cell's DNA to acquire epigenetic marks that restrict DNA expression in the cell and can be passed on through cell division. Many questions about stem cell differentiation remain.

Video: What are stem cells?

For example, are the internal and external signals for cell differentiation similar for all kinds of stem cells? Can specific sets of signals be identified that promote differentiation into specific cell types? Addressing these questions may lead scientists to find new ways to control stem cell differentiation in the laboratory, thereby growing cells or tissues that can be used for specific purposes such as cell-based therapies or drug screening. Adult stem cells typically generate the cell types of the tissue in which they reside.

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For example, a blood-forming adult stem cell in the bone marrow normally gives rise to the many types of blood cells. It is generally accepted that a blood-forming cell in the bone marrow—which is called a hematopoietic stem cell —cannot give rise to the cells of a very different tissue, such as nerve cells in the brain.

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Experiments over the last several years have purported to show that stem cells from one tissue may give rise to cell types of a completely different tissue. This remains an area of great debate within the research community. This controversy demonstrates the challenges of studying adult stem cells and suggests that additional research using adult stem cells is necessary to understand their full potential as future therapies.

What are the unique properties of all stem cells?


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  • Stem Cell Basics IV..
  • Info Center. Introduction: What are stem cells, and why are they important? What are embryonic stem cells? What are adult stem cells?


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