This primer on stem cells is intended for anyone who wishes
to learn more about the biological properties of stem cells, the
important questions about stem cells that are the focus of
scientific research, and the potential use of stem cells in
research and in treating disease. The primer includes
information about stem cells derived from embryonic and
non-embryonic tissues. Much of the information included here is
about stem cells derived from human tissues, but some studies of
animal-derived stem cells are also described.
The NIH developed this primer to help readers understand the
answers to questions such as:
What are stem cells?
What are the different types of stem cells, and where do
they come from?
What is the potential for new medical treatments using
What research is needed to make such treatments a reality?
This document provides basic information about stem cells.
More detailed discussion is available from the NIH stem cell
reports online at
http://stemcells.nih.gov/info. Quick answers to specific
common queries can be found on the
Asked Questions page.