Stem cells can be found in various parts of the human body. Here are 5 interesting stem cell facts you should know:
1. All new
Thanks to stem cells, you get a whole new skin approximately every four weeks, a new gut lining every few days and a staggering 2 million new red blood cells every second.
2. Skin on demand
Doctors have used skin stem cells to grow entire sheets of epidermis in the lab, only with no hairs or sweat glands. This skin can be used as grafts for patients with severe burns.
3. Pearly whites
Researchers discovered stem cells in the dental pulp of human teeth (DPSCs) in 2000. As time goes on, we continue to find them lurking in new parts of the body.
Related New: Unexpected stem cell factories found inside teeth
4. Stem cell bombshell
Carbon-14 produced by Cold War nuclear bomb testing has enabled researchers to determine that the heart can regenerate itself (very slowly) thanks to stem cells.
In the last 20 years, more than 20,000 patients have received umbilical cord blood transplants – for the most part treating leukemia and blood disorders in children.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on September 10, 2013 and has been completely updated.