The potential of stem cells

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4. The potential of stem cells

Aims: To explain what stem cells are and how they can be useful.

And to recall the scientific evidence for the potential benefits of stem cell research.

  1. What is meant by the Hayflick limit?

The maximum times that cells can divide (it was discovered that cells can divide 50 times maximum).

  1. Why can cancer cells keep on dividing?

Because they don’t have a Hayflick limit, so they keep dividing and they can eventually turn into a tumour.

  1. What is a stem cell?

They do not have a Hayflick limit and they can become any type of cell in the human body e.g. muscle cells, blood cells and nerve cells.

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  1. Why are embryonic stem cells used for research more often than adult stem cells?

Because embryonic stem cells are easier to extract than adult stem cells and some scientists claim that they are easier to change into the type of cell needed.

  1. Why do scientists think that stem cells could help cure medical conditions like cancer?

Because stem cells can be used to grow new healthy cells to replace cells that have become damaged or faulty and also some experimental treatments have successfully been used on humans.

  1. Why are so many people against stem cell research?

Some ...

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