Wharton’s Jelly is a bountiful source of stem cells.
Stem cell therapy is one of the most important medical discoveries ever made. First let’s talk about stem cells, what they are, and why they are so important.
What Are Stem Cells?Stem cells are primitive, "unspecialized" cells that divide and transform into specialized cells of the body like those found in your major organs, muscles, blood, and other cells with specified functions. The process of specialization is known as differentiation.
Stem cells are referred to as "undifferentiated" cells because they have not yet committed to a developmental path that will form a specific tissue or organ. In some areas of the body, stem cells are designated to renew and repair the existing tissues.
Bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract are areas in which stem cells function specifically to renew and repair.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
An egg is fertilized in the mother’s womb. The union of a sperm and ovum forms a single cell known as a zygote. The sperm and the ovum each carry half of the genetic material required to form a new individual. Once that single cell or zygote starts dividing, it is known as an embryo. What happens then?
One cell becomes two, two become four, four become eight, eight become sixteen, each new cell doubling rapidly until it ultimately grows into an entire sophisticated organism composed of many different kinds of specialized cells. That organism, a person, is an immensely complicated structure consisting of many, many, billions of cells with functions as diverse as those of your eyes, your heart, your immune system, the color of your skin, your brain, etc.
“During the early stages of embryonic development, the cells remain relatively undifferentiated (immature) and appear to possess the ability to become, or differentiate, into almost any tissue within the body. For example, cells taken from one section of an embryo that might have become part of the eye can be transferred into another section of the embryo and could develop into blood, muscle, nerve, or liver cells.” MedicineNet.com
Sources Of Stem Cells
It is the same process with every living creature. When the egg is fertilized by the sperm, it becomes an embryo, a single cell, which then divides and re-divides and then attaches to the wall of the uterus and starts the development of the organism’s body. At this time there is the richest source of undifferentiated stem cells. They can be harvested and developed in vitro even in petri dishes, and frozen for future use.
An ethical problem arises in using embryonic stem cells, for obvious reasons, so other sources were sought, and very fortunately discovered to work well.Human blood and fat are sources as is the human umbilical cord...
The Umbilical Cord And Wharton’s JellyThe umbilical cord connects a baby in the womb to its mother. It runs from an opening in the baby’s stomach to the placenta in the womb. The placenta is an organ attached to the lining of your womb during pregnancy. The placenta is connected to your baby by the umbilical cord.
Wharton’s JellySurrounding and protecting these vital blood vessels is a sticky, jelly-like substance called Wharton’s Jelly, which itself is covered by a membrane called the amnion.
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