WHAT IS THE GOAL OF STEM CELL RESEARCH?
Why don't we live forever?
Because we get sick?
All of these are correct. Each one results from a failure of the body's ability to grow, maintain or repair itself - functions that depend on our stem cells.
In What are Some Different Types of Stem Cells?, we saw how stem cells form the basic building materials for the human body. This makes them good candidates for restoring tissues that have been damaged by injury or disease.
For decades, researchers have been studying the biology of stem cells to figure out how development works and to find new ways of treating health problems.
How would stem cell therapy work?
The goal of any stem cell therapy is to repair a damaged tissue that can't heal itself.
This might be accomplished by transplanting stem cells into the damaged area and directing them to grow new, healthy tissue.
It may also be possible to coax stem cells already in the body to work overtime and produce new tissue.
To date, researchers have found more success with the first method, stem cell transplants.
Supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) [No. 1 R25 RR16291-01] from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The contents provided here are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.