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Stem cell biology

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1. What is the difference between embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells?

Embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the embryos. They are derived from eggs fertilized in vitro using in vitro fertilization. Embryonic stem cells are not derived from eggs fertilized naturally in a woman's body. When embryonic stem cell line hae proliferated in cell culture for a long time without differentiating, they are pluripotent, and have not developed genetic abnormalities. Embryonic stem cells can be identified by testing if the cell remain undifferentiated. The presence of transcription factors called Nanog and Oct4 are associated with stem cells maintaining an undifferentiated state capable of self-renewal.

Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cell that are found among tissue or organ. Adult stem cell can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ. The function of adult stem cell is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found.

The major difference between embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells is that they have different abilities in the number and type of differentiated cell types they can become. For example, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent and can become all cell types of the body. Adult stem cells are limited to differentiating into different cell types of their tissue of origin. Adult stem cells are challenging to grow in culture, but embryonic stem cells are easy to culture. Adult stem cells are less likely to initiate rejection after transplantation compared to embryonic stem cells because adult stem cells are derived from the patient's own adult stem cells and would be less likely to be rejected.

2. What are the limitations of embryonic stem ...

Solution Summary

Embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the embryos. They are derived from eggs fertilized in vitro using in vitro fertilization. They are useful in regeneration therapy for injured or defective tissues.

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