PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mouse embryo. Histological sample of a mouse embryo being used in stem cell research. The arrow (white) shows the developing spinal cord, while the organ at centre is the embryo's heart. Stem cells are cells that differentiate to form a range of different tissues. The stem cells in the spinal cord and heart are maturing into new nerve cells and heart cells. Human stem cells could be used to grow new cells to treat brain and heart disorders. Embryonic stem cells are particularly potent, being able to differentiate into more than 220 types of tissues. Use of embryonic stem cells is controversial, as it usually requires destruction of the embryo. Photographed at the Stem Cells Research Institute (SCRI) in Milan, Italy.
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