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Stem cells - Biotechnology

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Introduction To Biotechnology ◼ Stem cells are “master cells “ ◼ The raw material from which all of the body’s mature, differentiated cells are made. ◼ Stem cells give rise to brain cells, nerve cells, heart cells, pancreatic cells, etc. Unique properties of all stem cells 1 Stem cells are unspecialized One of the fundamental properties of stem cells is that it does not have any tissue specific structures that allow it to perform specialized function. 2 Proliferation They are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for indefinite periods 3 Differentiation They can give rise to specialized tissue. Under certain physiological and experimental conditions unspecialized cell can give rise to specialized cells such as including heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells required to repair damaged or depleted adult cell population or tissue. 4 Plasticity Stem cell from one tissue may be able to give rise to cell types of completely different tissue , a phenomenon known as plasticity. e.g. Blood cells becoming neuron, liver cells producing insulin and haematopoietic stem cells, developing into heart muscle. Cell potency ❑ Totipotent cells. These cells have the potential to become – any type in the adult body; – any cell of the exbranes (e.g., placenta). ❑ The only totipotent cells are the fertilized egg. ❑ Pluripotent stem cells. These are true stem cells, with the potential to make any differentiated cell in the body. Multipotent stemce ...
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