What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are a fascinating and powerful type of cell that can self-renew indefinitely, or give rise to differentiated cell types. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Undifferentiated iPS Cell

Pluripotent stem cells are stem cells that can become any type of cell in the body. Embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and cells created through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) are all considered pluripotent.

Other types of stem cells are capable of creating multiple different cell types, but not all the cell types in the body. For example, cord blood stem cells can give rise to all the types of cells found in the blood and bone marrow, but not skin or muscle cells.

Some mature tissues also have adult stem cells, cells that are only capable of regenerating the tissue in which they reside. These cells function as a repair system for that organ or tissue, for example, adult stem cells in the liver.

At NYSCF, we believe that research utilizing the unique and powerful properties of stem cells will accelerate new treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time.