The understanding and mastery of human stem cells has grown into a major industry. It is becoming increasingly clear that stem cells play an ongoing and vital role in the human body, and knowing how to work with them could open up a world of disease treatments and preventions.
The advantage of stem cells is in the way they reproduce. When we think of cell reproduction, it's natural to call up the image of a single cell slowly splitting, dividing itself into two identical copies of the original. But stem cells are different. Although stem cells have the ability to make copies of themselves, they also have the ability to divide asymmetrically. With asymmetric division, the result is both a copy of the original and a progenitor cell that can go on to reproduce and differentiate into specific cell types, such as heart cells or liver cells. The potential for using stem cells to generate new tissues and even entire organs is one of the driving forces behind this rapidly expanding billion dollar industry.
It also turns out that stem cell technology can be used in supporting the development of new drugs. VistaGen in particular has created a unique stem cell based drug testing system that allows drug developers to find out early in development whether a new drug candidate might have heart or liver toxicity issues down the line. It's a tool that could easily save the drug industry billions of dollars every year as they avoid heading down the wrong path. In addition, drug companies can use this critical information to identify the candidates most likely to succeed, meaning that money is spent more efficiently, and more safe and effective drugs can be developed with given resources.
For additional information, visit the company's website at www.VistaGen.com
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