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Super Stem Cells
24 August 2015

Super Stem Cells

Every day you make millions of new cells in your body. Stem cells divide time and time again, replenishing damaged and worn-out cells in your gut, skin, bone marrow and more. For a long time it was believed that there were no stem cells in the brain, so when nerve cells died they couldn't be replaced. That changed in 1989, when neural stem cells were first discovered in a mouse's brain. Since then they've turned up in many animals including humans, although they don't grow as prolifically as stem cells elsewhere in the body. This image shows two types of brain cells – glial cells (red) and neurons (green) – produced from rat neural stem cells grown in the lab. The hope is that harnessing the regenerative power of human neural stem cells could one day lead to therapies to heal brain damage and diseases such as Parkinson's.

Written by Kat Arney

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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