Embryonic Stem Cells VS. Adult Stem Cells

What are Embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos (not from fertilized eggs in a woman’s body). Some have been developed from fertilized eggs in vitro in an in vitro fertilization clinic. With consent of the donor, they are then donated for medical research purposes.

Embryonic stem cells may be grown in laboratories. This is called cell culture. Human embryonic stem cells are formed by transferring cells from a preimplantation-stage embryo into a plastic culture dish, which contains a nutrient broth known as culture medium. The cells will then divide and spread within the dish. So that the cells will not divide, the inner surface (feeder layer) of the culture dish is coated with a mouse embryonic skin cell. The mouse cells will provide a sticky surface so that the cells will be able to attach. As long as embryonic stem cells in culture are grown appropriately, then they can remain undifferentiated, but if the cells can “clump” together (form embryonic bodies), they will differentiate spontaneously (signs that a culture ESC is healthy). They can then produce muscle cells, nerve cells, and many more. Some diseases that could possibly be treated by transplanting cells generated by human embryonic stem cells are Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, traumatic spinal cord injury, cancer, heart disease, and vision and hearing loss.


What are Adult stem cells

Adult stem cells are "natural" stem cells found in the human body of adults. Adult stem cells are taken from different tissues , which include bone marrow, blood, and the brain. It's ability to divide and generate their cells makes them capable of repairing damage organisms and tissues. However, scientist discovered that adult stem cells are limited to what they can develop to. Adult stem cells can only derive from what they originally came from. Being able to use their cells to restore or replace damage tissues or organs are future hopes for these natural found stem cells.


Difference between Embryonic Stem Cells and Adult Stem Cells

Adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells are different in many ways, although they are used for similar purposes. Embryonic stem cells are found in the microenvironment of the embryo, and not in an adult body. The difference between their ability limits what they can do. Adult stem cells are restricted to what they are able to create and embryonic stem cells are not. In other words, adult stem cells have the capability to be many things. While embryonic cells have the potential of being anything because they are pluripotent cells. Between the two a patient would have a better chance of their body not rejecting the new adult stem cells because it comes from their own body. Although a patient may have more of a chance of the body rejecting the embryonic stem, if successful the embryonic cells are more affective then adult stem cells. Unfortunately, the process of collecting enough adult stem cells opposes some trouble because they are much harder to isolate from tissue. Adult stem cells are less controversial because they do not require the harm of an embryo. Although they have their difference, they both share some of the same characteristics. Both stem cells serve the same purpose of cell-based regenerative therapies, can heal cancer patients, and are both undifferentiated.

Learn More!

Listen to real life stores and understand more on stem cells.
Youtube- Embryonic Vs Adult


"Adult stem cell." Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Kadereit, Suzanna. "Adult Stem Cells ." ISSCR. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <www.isscr.org/public/adult_SC.pdf>.

Stem Cell Basics: What are the similarities and differences between embryonic and adult stem cells? . In Stem Cell Information [World Wide Web site]. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011 [cited Thursday, March 01, 2012] Available at <http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics5>

Pictures and Videos

"Frequently Asked Questions." Appendix C: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Human Embryonic Germ Cells [Stem Cell Information]. Web. 01 Mar. 2012. <http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/2001report/appendixC.asp>.
Rosaryfilms. "Adult Stem Cell Results & Embryonic Stem Cell Ethics Video." YouTube. YouTube, 07 July 2007. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.

"Stem cell research: win some, lose some ." ZME Science - science news, research, health, environment, space . N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.