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Daily Archives: January 12, 2007

In the know: What are stem cells?

Published: January 12, 2007

STEM cells have important characteristics that distinguish them from other cell types.

They are unspecialized cells that can develop into other specialized cell types in the body, like heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells. Unlike these specialized cells, stem cells can replicate themselves many times over through cell division.

Under certain physiologic and experimental conditions, stem cells can be induced to transform into cells with special functions (i.e. beating cells of heart muscle, insulin-producing cells of the pancreas).

Stem cell research in India

Published: January 12, 2007

sci1WITH conservative Christians in the US succeeding in influencing the Bush administration into putting hurdles in the path of stem cell research on “flimsy moral ground”, Asian countries, including India and Singapore, may well emerge as the “futuristic front-runners” in this frontier area of research that holds the hope of providing an effective cure for many of the hitherto incurable ailments afflicting the humanity.

India, which has made spectacular strides in space research and nuclear power generation, is now all set to repeat its success story in stem cell research. While in the areas of nuclear power and space research India was able to make significant breakthroughs on account of the sustained support provided by the government, in stem cell research private initiative remains a key factor.