Stem cells are cells with the potential to develop different types of cells in the body. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Studying stem cells may help explain how serious conditions such as cancer appear.
There are types of stem cells determined by their functional capabilities. Totipotent stem cells, meaning their potential is total, have the capacity to give rise to every cell type of the body and to form an entire organism. Pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, are capable of generating virtually all cell types of the body but are unable to form a functioning organism. Multipotent stem cells can give rise only to a limited number of cell types. For example, adult stem cells, also called organ- or tissue-specific stem cells, are multipotent stem cells found in specialized organs and tissues after birth. Their primary function is to replenish cells lost from normal turnover or disease in the specific organs and tissues in which they are found.
Stem cells have amazing promise as a medical treatment, but there are still huge obstacles to overcome. It may fulfill this promise but it always needs lot efforts to gain possible real results.