You will hear a lecture. After listening to the lecture, in 10 seconds, please speak into the microphone and retell what you have just heard from the lecture in your own words. You will have 40 seconds to give your response.
Stem cells are cells that are undifferentiated, meaning they do not have a specific job or function. While skin cells protect your body, muscle cells contract and nerve cells send signals, stem cells do not have any specific structures or functions. Stem cells do have the potential to become all other kinds of cells in your body. Your body uses stem cells to replace worn-out cells when they die. For example, you completely replace the lining of your intestines every four days. Stem cells beneath the lining of your intestines replace these cells as they wear out. Scientists hope that stem cells could be used to create a very special kind of personalized medicine, in which we could replace your own body parts with, well, your own body parts. Stem cell researchers are working hard to find ways in which to use stem cells to create new tissue to replace the parts of organs that are damaged by injury or disease. Using stem cells to replace damaged bodily tissue is called regenerative medicine. For example, scientists currently use stem cells to treat patients with blood diseases such as leukemia. Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects your bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside your bones where your blood cells are created. In leukemia, some of the cells inside your bone marrow grow uncontrollably, crowding out the healthy stem cells that form your blood cells. Some leukemia patients can receive a stem cell transplant. These new stem cells will create the blood cells needed by the patient’s body. There are actually multiple kinds of stem cells that scientists can use for medical treatments and research. Adult stem cells or tissue-specific stem cells are found in small numbers in most of your body’s tissues.