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Stem Cell Basics Unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells.

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Presentation on theme: "Stem Cell Basics Unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stem Cells, Cell Differentiation and Communication in Multicellular Organisms (like you!!!)

2 Stem Cell Basics Unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells.
All of the stem cells contain the same DNA Specific genes determine the type of cell They have potential to become a specialized type (such as lung, liver, etc.) They can also divide to create other stem cells

3 What is a stem cell? Identical stem cells Stem cell SELF-RENEWAL
(copying) Stem cell DIFFERENTIATION (specializing) What is a stem cell? Note: The previous slide provides an alternative version of this diagram. The concept of a stem cell is very well explained in the short film, “A Stem Cell Story” at What the diagram shows Stem cells are different from other cells of the body because stem cells can both: Self-renew: Make copies of themselves AND 2. Differentiate: Make other types of cells – specialized cells of the body. ‘Specialized’ or ‘differentiated’ cells play particular roles in the body, e.g. blood cells, nerve cells, muscle cells. Specialized cells cannot divide to make copies of themselves. This makes stem cells very important. The body needs stem cells to replace specialized cells that die, are damaged or get used up. Cell division – possible questions 1) 16+ year old students may remember learning about 2 kinds of cell division – mitosis and meiosis. They may have learnt that mitosis happens in wound healing or to replace short-lived cells, but probably won’t have discussed stem cells in this context. You might therefore need to explain that most specialized cells cannot undergo mitosis. There are a few exceptions (e.g. liver cells or T-cells) but in general specialized cells can no longer divide. Skin cells, red blood cells or gut lining cells cannot undergo mitosis. Stem cells do divide by mitosis and this makes them very important for replacing lost or damaged specialized cells. Should mitosis be discussed, you may wish to note the following: In mitosis, the DNA in the daughter cells is identical to the DNA in the dividing cell. This is true for dividing stem cells, both in self-renewal and in differentiation. In differentiation, the daughter cells are more specialized than the original stem cell. So, the daughter cells behave differently even though they have the same DNA as the stem cell. This is because there are lots of other molecules inside and around the cells that can change the way the cells behave. 3) Scientists think that when human stem cells divide they probably make EITHER two stem cells, OR two more specialized cells. In fruit flies, stem cells can divide to make one stem cell and one more specialized cell in a single division. Specialized cells

4 Two Basic Types Embryonic stem cells Adult Stem cells

5 In the Beginning……. You were one of these!
Male sperm fuses (fertilizes) an egg. This is the very first cell…….a Zygote (picture on the right)!!!

6 After about 5 days, a blastocyst has formed……source of embryonic stem cells

7 Embryonic Stem cells **Versatile
**Have not differentiated into any particular type of cell **Can be created in a (fertility clinics) ** Can develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body (Called Somatic Cells)

8 Extracting Embryonic Stem Cells Destroys the Embryo……
Extracting Embryonic Stem Cells Destroys the Embryo……..creates controversy!! When does life begin?

9 Adult Stem Cells **Found throughout the body; bone marrow (left), muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, fat cells, cord blood….. **replace dying and damaged tissues **Can only develop into limited types of cells

10 DNA and Differentiation
**You have 46 total chromosomes (left) **A zygote‘s DNA contains the instructions needed to become an organism **Each cell only uses part of your DNA to differentiate into specific body cells called somatic cells; lung, heart, bone, etc. **Once specialized, they do not become stem cells again


12 Cell Communication…. Cells signal each other  Send and receive “messages” Identify each other Signals from the environment or from other cells Proteins on the cell’s membrane is involved

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