Stem cells are the main, basic cells, from which all other types of cells in our body evolve. These can be found in embryos or in adult bodies. Most of these cells get produced in our bone marrow, even though this process may take place in various parts inside our body. Currently, this whole stem cell matter has been under a great cloud of controversy, especially when it comes to stem cells coming from embryos. However, we continue to produce stem cells even when we become adults.
The Role of Stem Cells
The production of these cells is closely connected to the cleansing system and the immune system in our body. Stem cells are the main tool which provides our body regeneration and development through rejuvenation and renewal of bodily cells.
Each cell in our body lives and, eventually, dies. Once this happens, a new cell comes to take its place. However, before this cells serves any purpose, it is a stem cell. Each time a stem cell divides, there is a possibility that the newly created cell will either serve a specific purpose in the organism or become a new stem cell. Once stem cells are released, they seek problematic areas by dividing to produce specialized cells where needed. Stem cells can divide countless times, replenishing the count of other cells. This process lasts for as long as we live.
A damaged tissue in our body, for example, sends out signals, attracting stem cells to the area. Then, these cells divide and produce the required cells necessary for fixing the damage which has been done. Therefore, their use is unique and crucial for our survival.
Coming of Age
As we grow older, our body regenerates less and the role of stem cells is more important to us. We still do not know why we age, nor exactly how the process takes place, but learning more about stem cells could definitely lead us to some clues.
Basically, in time, our cells get exposed to free radicals. This process affects whole cell colonies and is called oxidative stress. It makes cells degenerate and become less useful, as if they have corroded. This process leads to development of illnesses, autoimmune disorders, cancers, heart issues, asthma, skin problems etc. Every single sign of aging in our body is a sign of cell damage taking place during the oxidative stress process.
Oxidative stress also inhibits development of stem cells and regeneration of our body. But, this is only the tip of the iceberg with many question marks left to be uncovered as we reveal the scientific mystery of our existence.