Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells, found throughout the body after embryonic development, that multiply by cell division to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Also known as somatic stem cells (from Greek Σωματικóς, meaning of the body), they can be found in juvenile as well as adult animals and humans.
Scientific interest in adult stem cells has centered on their ability to divide or self-renew indefinitely, and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate, potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is not considered to be controversial as they are derived from adult tissue samples rather than destroyed human embryos. They have mainly been studied in humans and model organisms such as mice and rats.
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