Scientists hope that stem cell research will one day provide new treatments for patients with serious diseases. They hope to be able to make body cells such as heart cells or nerve cells to replace those that are damaged or have been destroyed by illness.
There are three types of stem cells in the human body: embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells and adult stem cells. Scientists find embryonic stem cells particularly interesting because they have the potential to become any type of cell in the human body. Adult and fetal stem cells are more restricted in which type of cells they can grow into.