Stem cells are seen as miraculous little things since they have paved the way for so much advancement in the medical field. However, with new and amazing discoveries comes a lot of falsified information that can be misconstrued. This can cause people to get the wrong information and understanding of stem cells which is a shame. Myths will often push people away from something as wonderful as stem cells which is why we’re here to state some facts.
Stem Cells Only Come From Aborted Babies
A large portion of stem cells during treatments and therapies actually come from the patient themselves. Blood is retrieved from the patient, placed in a centrifuge to separate the contents of the blood out, and then the concentrated stem cells are then allowed to multiply. Once enough of them have accumulated, they are then injected back into the patient in the area where they’re needing treatment.
Although it’s possible that people somewhere harvest cord blood stem cells from aborted babies, that’s not the way it usually works. Some people, after going through IVF, will donate their leftover eggs and sperm which allow lab technicians to get embryonic cells in this manner. This happens in a dish in the lab and doesn’t involve any unethical means of retrieval. Cord blood cells are only harvested with the signed consent of the donor and don’t harm a baby in any way.
Stem Cells Are Immortal
Although stem cells are known to thrive outside of a body, continuing to multiply, they’re not immortal. They can react and die just like any cell. However, they have been known to live longer than their hosts, which is why the assumption came about that they were immortal. Although they have an extensive ability to renew, they are limited, even in the lab in perfect conditions.
All Stem Cells are the Same
Many have come to believe that all adult stem cells or stem cells, in general, are the same and can be used interchangeably throughout the body. This isn’t true. Pluripotent cells have more of an ability for this sort of thing. However, the more common adult stem cells are limited and can’t be used in just any area of the body. Many adult stem cells are often limited to treating the area of the body they were removed from and are specialized cells.
Stem Cells Automatically Migrate to Injured Areas of the Body
This isn’t totally true. Although each area of the body has its own specialized stem cells that may be activated upon an injury, there’s nothing to indicate that there’s a type of homing beacon sent out for stem cells to come to other areas of the body. This is why doctors and scientists have to be very careful about where they inject stem cells because it may not take to the injured area.