Scientists and researchers alike are scrambling to find a cure for all medical conditions. They look far and wide just to do that and to come up with treatments and therapies that will help cure what ails us. But, that cure is not out there; it is actually already within us.
What am I talking about? I am talking about stem cells, of course! Do you remember your basic biology class? If you do, you know that we are actually made up of many different cells. These cells are usually specialized in that they already have a purpose- they already have a defined function.
However, stem cells are undifferentiated which just means that they are still waiting to turn into cells that have a definite purpose. In other words, these miraculous cells can be manipulated to turn into whatever cell the body needs.
According to Joshua Hare, Director of Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, stem cells could be the new antibiotics. If utilized in the right way and in the proper conditions, stem cells could potentially be the miracle cure that we’ve all been waiting for.
Now, just to be clear, the cells that Hare referred to are actually the ones that are harvested from people who are already born and not from human embryos- the latter being mired in controversy. I just want to make things clear.
That being said, the stem cells can be harvested from a number of different regions in the body, including our bone marrow, skin, and even from our own fat (or adipose tissue).
These amazing cells are actually known as “master cells” because they have the ability to divide into many copies of themselves and they can also morph into cells with definite functions and specifications.
Now, by default, adult stem cells can only morph into cells from which they came from. That means that if you were to take, say, stem cells from your bone marrow, the cells that it can most likely turn into are the cells that are located from within the marrow’s reached, including red and white blood cells, among others.
Stem Cell Treatments
You might have seen various clinics all over the country that offer stem cell injections or treatments. I just want to remind you that these treatments are highly experimental and unproven and may be dangerous to your health. The only approved treatment that uses stem cells to this day is bone marrow transplants and nothing else.
According to Atta Behfar, Director of the Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic states that how stem cell works precisely still remains to be uncovered.
There are various studies out there that tell amazing stories and positive outcomes using stem cell injections. However, not all of them are successful.
Furthermore, you have to understand that the studies that have mostly positive outcomes are carried out on animals and not humans.
Still, we should remain hopeful, given that the FDA has approved several stem cell treatments for human clinical trials. Expect good things to come in the foreseeable future.