Ted-Ed: What are Stem Cells? Creating a “New You” with Stem Cells!

Personalized medicine is closer than you might think. Just as our hobbies and interests are unique, so too are our bodies. As a result each person may require very specific healthcare throughout their lifetime and researchers are continually evaluating new ways to accomplish this.

Craig A. Kohn, of Ted-Ed says stem cells are the key. Imagine a world where you have the power to heal yourself with the most individualized medical treatment ever – yourself.

Our bodies are filled with cells, most of which have a designated function. However, nestled deep within the confines of our tissues, blood, fat, and other hidden nooks of our bodies sit a medical militia of stem cells awaiting their chance at greatness.

A key characteristic of stem cells are that they’re unspecialized, meaning they don’t have tissue-specific structures that allow them to perform a specific function in the body. This property allows them to become specialized cell types, enabling them to aid in healing and replace other cells as the body needs.

Additionally, doctors treat patients with blood cancers such as leukemia with blood and immune forming stem cells. In a field called regenerative medicine, stem cells are being researched to help the body heal itself.

Today, creating a new you might require a good therapist, motivational videos, and a new workout routine. In the future, it might be as simple as receiving an infusion of your own stem cells in order to repair damaged parts of the body – a true paradigm shift in the way we view healthcare.

In the meantime, you can sit back and relax while your stem cells get ready to do the rest. With the growing body of research around these fascinating cells, personalized medicine is getting closer to reality.

Watch the full Ted-Ed explanation and tell us what excites you about personalized medicine in our blog comments.

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