Sorry, I made a mistake with the link. New deadline 27th April.
Some of you wanted me to add some comments about the video, so here you are:
Specialised cells can't make copies of themselves, that's why we need stem cells to replace cells that die, are damaged or used up.
Stem cells are different from other cells of the body because stem cells can both self-renew (Make copies of themselves) AND differentiate (Make other types of cells – specialized cells of the body.)Tissue stem cells are in different parts of our body, like in the bone marrow, in skin, blood, guts and muscle, and even in the brain.
Normally they make cells like them, stem cells, or of the type of tissue they are in.
We can create skin cells in flasks from skin samples, until they cover the whole surface of the flask.
We can't reconstruct hair follicules or sweat glands.
Treatments with stem cells can be the future for difficult diseases. In patients with leukimia we could repair the entire blood system. Or for example, perhaps we could grow new insulin-producing cells to transplant into a patient with diabetes.
Embryonic stem cells are exciting because they can make all the different types of cell in the body – scientists say these cells are pluripotent. There is a big controversy in using embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are the most powerful ones, but in order to work with them you need to destroy the trophectoderm (outermost layer around the stem cells in a blastocyst).
In 2006, scientists discovered that it is possible to make a new kind of stem cell in the laboratory. They found that they could transform skin cells from a mouse into cells that behave just like embryonic stem cells. In 2007, researchers did this with human cells too. The new stem cells that are made in the lab are called induced pluripotent stem cells. Just like embryonic stem cells, they can make all the different types of cell in the body – so we say they are pluripotent. There is a long way to go before scientists can do this, but iPS cells are an exciting discovery.