Miraculous stem cell revolution- Scientists hail breakthrough they claim is equal to the creation of anitbiotics to mend damaged hearts, heal strokes and cure blindness
Stem cells were discovered by scientists in the 1960s in a major breakthrough
The cells have enormous potential for the treatment of devastating conditions
Scientists are working on techniques using the cells to help the body heal itself
Some important stem cell therapies are already in use within the NHS
They are the building blocks of human life. And scientists are increasingly convinced that stem cells are set to revolutionise the entire spectrum of medicine, providing therapies for everything from cancer and heart disease to blindness and even paralysis.
Since they were first discovered in the 1960s, much has been written about these so-called master cells, which have an astonishing power to transform into any cell in the body.
Because of this, they have enormous potential for use in treatments for a range of devastating conditions.
Stem cells which were first discovered in the 1960s are being used to treat a range of previously incurable ailments
Professor Lord Robert Winston, pictured, said stem cells provide a remarkable opportunity to replace damaged liver cells, dead muscle cells after a heart attack and even neurons in the spine after an injury
Over the years, there has been scepticism about the hype surrounding stem cells, fuelled in part by unscrupulous private clinics which have been too quick to overstate the benefits of unproven treatments and offer them – often at an eye-watering cost – to vulnerable patients desperate for any glimmer of hope.
But today, advances in our understanding about how to harvest, manipulate and use stem cells to combat illness mean that we are on the cusp of a leap forward to rival the introduction of anaesthetics, antibiotics and organ transplants.
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