Researchers here outline a method of pushing stem cells in several different tissues into greater activity, thereby accelerating regeneration from injury and potentially improving ongoing tissue maintenance. Given a few more decades of development, regenerative medicine will probably bear little resemblance to today’s approaches of cell transplantation, and will instead rely upon a combination of (a) delivering signal molecules or otherwise controlling cell behavior, and (b) repairing damage that accumulates in important cell populations, such as stem cells. If stem cells are kept in a well maintained state, and can be directed to perform as needed, then a major component of the progression of aging will be eliminated. This is, of course, a very large project. There are hundreds of types of cell in the body, and every tissue has its own distinct stem cell populations, all significantly different from one another. The present state of the art in stem cell research is barely the first step on a long road ahead.
Adult stem cells are an essential component of tissue homeostasis with indispensable roles in both physiological tissue renewal and tissue repair following injury. The regenerative potential of stem cells has been very successful for
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