Stems cells are very special cells that, when told what to do, can turn into any type of cell in the body. The healthy stem cells are signaled to go to a particular area of the body needing regeneration. The new stem cells replace the damaged or worn out cells and then begin to function as that organ or body system.
The human body is like an amazing factory. Not everything breaks down at once. First the conveyors break down, then the hydraulics fail, then hard equipment begins to break, and finally the computers begin to malfunction. Our body is much the same way. Once we realize that we are breaking down, there has been considerable damage done.
Our entire body was created out of the beginning of one single stem cell. That stem cell began to divide itself and form our body in totality. The stem cells residing in our body now are like maintenance cells. They keep us running and hopefully keep us in good repair and our body up to date.
Once the stem cell is called forth, there are special signals that the stem cells receive that tell the cell to turn into a brain cell, a liver cell, a heart cell, a skin cell, a fat cell, etc.
Every organ in the body has it’s own stem cells. However, stem cells are produced more in certain areas of the body, like the bone marrow. The bone marrow has the most stem cells than any other part of the body. Once the stem cells are mature, they are sent out in the blood stream to circulate through the body and go to wherever they are signaled to go.
Some stem cells cannot turn into any type of stem cell. A liver stem cell can only turn into a liver stem cell and cannot become something else. The stem cells in the blood have the ability to turn into anything in the body. This is why the marrow is the most prolific area for stem cells.
Scientists are taking stem cells in the lab and program them to be a certain type of cell. For instance, if a patient is suffering from heart disease, the scientist will program the stem cells that have been cultured in a lab to be a heart cell. Once injected into the body, the scientists know that the programmed cells will go straight to the heart to replace damaged cells and will not go anywhere else.