Adult Stem Cells 101
Adult stem cells are cells that are able to divide indefinitely and produce the different kinds of cells that maintain the body's tissues and organs.
Stem Cell Research: Ethics and Policy
Children's Hospital Boston discusses ethical and policy considerations in stem cell research and its internal review process.
Pluripotent Stem Cells 101
Pluripotent stem cells are "master cells." They're able to make cells from all three basic body layers, so can potentially produce any cell or tissue the body needs to repair itself.
History of Stem Cell Research – A Timeline
A timeline of the milestones in stem cell research, including research and innovations out of Children's Hospital Boston.
Frequently Asked Questions
Children's Hospital Boston answers common questions about embryonic and adult stem cells.
Stem cells are single cells with two unique qualities–they can make endless copies of themselves and they can mature into a variety of specialized cells. These qualities make them promising new tools in medicine, allowing patients to receive needed cells or tissues or have diseased cells or tissues replaced with healthy ones.
Grown in the lab, genetically repaired if needed and coaxed to become a specific tissue, stem cells could allow doctors to patch a scarred heart, reawaken damaged nerves or reboot an immune system incapable of fighting infection. Stem cells are also very valuable to scientists in understanding human disease.
Boston Children’s Hospital believes that stem cell research holds extraordinary promise for the children we treat and for countless others around the world. The mission of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is to explore, understand, and translate this promise into clinical therapies and treatments.
There are two general types of stem cells, both of which are being studied at Children’s.
- Pluripotent stem cells are “master cells.” They’re able to make cells from all three basic body layers, so they can potentially produce any cell or tissue the body needs to repair itself. They include embryonic stem cells, made from embryos, and induced pluripotent stem cells, which closely resemble embryonic stem cells and are created through genetic reprogramming.
- Adult stem cells are specialized stem cells that give rise to one or more specific cells or tissues.
Read about both to learn about where they come from, their importance in medicine, and what our scientists are doing.