– Adult stem cells, Is an undifferentiated cell, which can be found in tissue or organs that can renew themselfes. This means that the adult stem cell can yeild some or all of major specialized cell types in the site were it is found.
– Blastocyst, A blastocyst is the clump of cells formed five days after fertilization. The cells in the blastocyst can be divided into two groups. Those at the edges, giving the blastocyst a spherical shape, and the inner cell mass, which will later form the embryo. The outer layer will form the placenta. At this stage the cells have not yet started differentiating, and can in theory become any cell type.
– Cell line, is a group of constantly dividing cells. They are obtained from human or animal tissue and can replicate in vitro for a long period of time. One of the more common cell lines is HeLa, which was obtained from Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in 1951.
– In vitro fertilization (IVF), IVF simply means fertilization in a dish. This is achieved by obtaining sperm and an egg. Optimal eggs are chosen, and the sperm washed. They are then mixed in a dish, and cultured for approximately 3 days, until the zygote consist of 6 to 8 cells. The zygote is then transferred into the woman’s uterus, and hopefully it will implant.
– Moratorium, A moratorium means to postpone the decision-making process considering an amendment or a bill. Technically, moratorium means to delay an activity, and can therefore also apply to payments, i.e. on a loan.
– Pluripotent stem cells, These cells can develop into any of the cells found in adult organisms and are formed from the inner cell mass in the blastocyst, about 5 days after fertilization. These are among the most important in stem cell research because they can be changed and developed into specific tissues for therapeutic purposes; to help damaged body parts heal; form new tissue among others.
– Reproductive cloning, The manipulation of genetic material in order to achieve the reproduction of a human being and includes nuclear transfer or embryo splitting for such purpose. The living being is a genetic replica of the source of genetic material.
– Somatic cell nuclear transfer, A lab technique where the nucleus of a somatic cell (a body cell other than a sperm or egg cell), which contains the organism’s DNA, is taken out. The nucleus is then inserted into denucleated egg cell and stimulated to divide, forming a blastocyst (early embryo) with identical DNA as the original organism.
– Totipotent cells, These cells can divide and can create all differentiated cells in an organism. Totipotent cells exist after fertilization and before the creation of the blastocyst. This means that the cells can become the placenta and/or part of the extra-embryonic membranes.
– Umbilical cord, This is the cord connecting the fetus with the placenta. In the cord there is a blood flow, supplying the fetus with oxygenated, nutrition-rich blood from the blood, and returns the used blood. Blood from the cord and the placenta have been found to produce new blood cells, and are therefore interesting in stem cell research.