N: 1. – stem (n): Old English stemn, stefn “stem of a plant, trunk of a tree, “ also “either end-post of a ship,” from Proto- Germanic stamniz (source also of Old Saxon stamm Old Norse stafn “stem of a ship”. Stem cell attested by 1885.
– cell (n): Used in biology by 17c. Of various cavities (Wood structure, segments or fruit, bee combs), gradually focusing to the modern sense of “basic structure of living organism”.
2. A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.
3. There are different types of stem cells:
- Somatic Stem Cells, also called adult stem cells, exist naturally in the body.
- Embryonic Stem Cells are formed as a normal part of embryonic development.
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are created artificially in the lab by “reprogramming” a patient’s own cells.
4. Researches have found that stem cells can be used to treat disease and injury. They stimulate the body to repais itself.
For example, bone marrow transplants have been taking place for more than 40 years.
These procedures rely on transplanting stem cells derived from bone marrow and have dramatically altered the treatment of blood disorders and certain cancers such as leukemia.
In the past 20 years, significant new discoveries have emerged- breakthroughs that the original discoverers of stem cells never dreamed about. Researchers are finding new ways to use stem cells to rebuild tissue in many parts of the body where it has been damaged, such as the eye, the pancreas and the brain. Some revolutionary treatments for blindness, MS, stroke and spinal cord injury are already in early stage clinical trials.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Stem+cell (last access: 15 November 2016); TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 20 November 2016). 2. NCI – https://goo.gl/zJfPVz (last access: 15 November 2016). 3. GSLC – https://goo.gl/qHDqm4 (last access: 16 November 2016). 4. SCF – https://goo.gl/EvbYJG (last access: 17 November 2016).