Finding Progenitor Stem Cells

As the sophistication of biotech tools increase, scientists are identifying more sources of stem cells for regenerative medicine. Here, Nature reports on the discovery of small numbers of heart progenitor stem cells that remain in the adult body. "These are very rare cells, which accounts for why they have not yet been reported ... Only a few hundred progenitor cells remain in the heart after birth, and this number decreases with age, the researchers say. Unlike stem cells, which have a seemingly unlimited capacity for self-renewal, progenitor cells undergo a finite number of divisions ... cardiac progenitor cells have one considerable advantage over stem cells: scientists can easily coax them into becoming fully specialized heart-muscle cells, without chemical or hormonal stimuli."


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