Quantcast
Latest Stories

In the Know: Stem cells


Stem cells are the foundation of every organ, tissue and cell in the human body that do not yet have a specific physiological function but have the potential to develop into many different cell types.

They are also distinguished from other cells by their ability to self-

renew. Stem cells divide and give rise to more stem cells. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain as a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, red blood cell or brain cell.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, scientists primarily work with two kinds of stem cells—embryonic stem cells and nonembryonic “somatic” or “adult” stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, the ball of cells formed when the fertilized egg or zygote divides and forms two cells (then again to form four and so on). It can divide almost indefinitely and can give rise to every cell type in the body.

Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are found in differentiated tissues and organs throughout the body and contribute to the maintenance and repair of organs.

Stem cells offer the possibility of replacement cells to treat a wide variety of diseases and disabilities, including diabetes, neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, blood disease and many other conditions.

According to the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), embryonic stem cells have not yet been used to treat diseases in humans, “but progress has been made in the introduction of the first clinical trial using embryonic stem cells in the area of treating spinal cord injury.”

Adult stem cell-based therapies have been used to treat diseases in humans for over 40 years in the form of bone marrow transplants, according to HSCI. These are used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and inherited blood disorders.

In March, the Department of Health released implementing rules and regulations that cover stem cell and cell-based therapy to prevent abuses and dubious practices.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the rules restricted the use of genetically altered stem cells and tissues of human adults and the umbilical cord, fat-derived human stem cells and live animal stem cells.

The rules also prohibit the creation of human embryos and their derivatives, the use of aborted human fetal stem cells and their derivatives, and plant parts labeled as stem cells for human treatment and research, Ona said.

A number of politicians have been reported to have used stem cell therapy, including former President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former Sen. Ernesto Maceda.

In April, during the election campaign, Maceda credited his good health to stem cell therapy.

“I am now convinced that my stem cell therapy is effective and that’s the reason why I’ve been able to keep up with the rigorous campaign schedule,” he said. “I feel 20 years younger.”—Inquirer Research

Sources: hsci.harvard.edu, crm.nih.gov, Inquirer Archives


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Ernesto Maceda , Health , medicine , Philippines , politicians , stem cell therapy , stem cells




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  5. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  6. Town, DENR play tug-of-war over crocodile
  7. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  9. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  10. Motorcycle race ends in shooting; 1 killed, 6 hurt
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Australian state leader quits over $2,800 wine
  • Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths
  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement