Do adult stem cells have the same capability as embryonic stem cells?
For many years, scientists have conducted studies to determine whether the stem cells in adult tissue have the same developmental capability as embryonic stem cells. The general consensus is that adult stem cells seem to be less versatile. Scientists think that embryonic stem cells have a much greater utility and potential than the adult stem cells, because embryonic stem cells may develop into virtually every type of cell in the human body. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, may only be able to develop into a limited number of cell types. Embryonic stem cells also continue to divide indefinitely when placed in culture, while this may not be the case for adult stem cells and this would reduce their capacity to form new cell types. Both adult and embryonic stem cell research should continue simultaneously as they are both critical to our understanding of the etiology, progression and treatment of disease.