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What Is a Stem Cell Culture?

A stem cell culture involves removing stem cells from a source material and growing them under laboratory conditions. This area of human research and science is still under ethical debate. Stem cells have the unique ability to grow into any type of cell and have been very useful for various medical advancements as they are capable of growing into organs, repairing damaged tissues and being transplanted into the body. They do well in fighting disease.

When creating a stem cell culture, the stem cells are removed from their original source and placed in a culture dish containing a liquid that feeds the stem cells with nutrients. Another layer of cells from a different source called feeder cells may be added to the culture dish to aid with the feeding of nutrients. The stem cells replicate themselves by dividing. As the stem cell culture succeeds, the cells are placed into more culture environments to continue the process and make more cells.

It may take several months for a stem cell culture to establish a stable stem line. Before this happens, the cells are very basic and their state prevents them from becoming a specific type of body cells. When the stem cell culture is large enough, chemicals or genetic materials are added to stimulate the cells to become specific. However, some cells differentiate spontaneously and this is a major part of research as they need to manipulate stem cells for a specific purpose rather than allow them to act as they please.

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