Cells make up the human body. They are the building blocks of life. Upon conception, most cells become specialized and group together to form the nerves, tissues and various organs of the body. They divide continuously creating a fresh supply to replace the old and damaged ones.
However as the body ages or is ravaged by diseases, the cells' ability to replenish and repair themselves diminishes, eventually leading to the deterioration of the nerves, tissues and various organs – and the body's overall health.
Not all cells become specialized though. These cells, undifferentiated, are called stem cells. They can multiply indefinitely. Moreover, when a need arises, they can transform themselves into any of the other specialized cells. They can become muscles cells or skins cells or nerve cells and so on.
The discovery of these cells and their extraordinary abilities sparked the development of stem cell therapy.
There are different types of stem cells that could be used for regenerative treatment. Those found in the embryos and fetal tissues are called embryonic stem cells, while those residing in the bone marrows and adipose tissues or fats are referred to as adult stem cells.
Initially, medical research focused on embryonic stem cells. Ethical issues arose over the use of this type of stem cell, which caused a huge public outcry, more so in the religious communities. Fortunately, adult stem cells came into the scene.