Explain the role of stem cells in medical treatment.
Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain as a stem cell or become another type of cell with a specialised function, such as muscle cell or a red blood cell. Stem cells are of three main types:
1) Embryonic stem cells : These are taken from a five to a six-day old embryo. They have the ability to form any type of cell in the body
2) Embryonic germ cells : These are derived from the part of a human embryo and ultimately produce eggs or sperms.
3) Adult stem cells : These are the undifferentiated cells found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ after birth.