Stem cells are unique cells in our bodies that have the ability to develop into different types of cells. 
They are the foundation of our body's growth, development, and repair processes. Stem cells are often categorized into two main types: 
1. Embryonic stem cells 
2. Adult stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos (developing human babies in the womb or test tubes in the laboratory) that are typically just a few days old. These cells have the potential to differentiate into any type of cell in the body, hence being called "pluripotent." They play a crucial role in the early development of an organism, including us humans.

On the other hand, adult stem cells, also known as somatic stem cells, are found in various tissues and organs throughout the body. These cells are multipotent, meaning they can differentiate into a limited range of cell types specific to the tissue or organ they reside in. Adult stem cells serve as a repair system, replenishing damaged or old cells in the body.

Stem cell research and therapies show "great potential" in the field of medicine. They can be used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Stem cell therapies may involve using a patient's own stem cells or donor cells, depending on the specific situation.

It is important to note that the use of embryonic stem cells has raised ethical concerns due to their extraction from human embryos. However, alternative approaches, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), have been developed to bypass these ethical considerations. iPSCs are created by reprogramming adult cells to pluripotent stem cells, eliminating the need for embryonic sources.

Research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine continues to advance, with the hope of unlocking more possibilities for healing and improving human health.

"Please note that currently, only human stem cells have the established potential to treat human diseases."

"Claims that stem cells from other animal species or plants can be used to replace damaged human cells in tissues are scientifically unfounded!" This is because the cellular mechanisms within living cells differ from species to species and more so between every other life form. 

Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver
Senior Registrar, 
Faculty Of Pediatrics, WACP.

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