• Stem Cells

  • Embryonic

Human embryonic stem cells

Human embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst (3 to 5 day old embryo). These cells are pluripotent, meaning that they have the ability to differentiate into all derivatives of the three primary germ layers, which include 220 cell types in the adult body. These cells are derived from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro and not from eggs fertilized in the woman’s body. Still, because removing the inner cell mass destroys the developing embryo, controversy clouds using human embryonic stem cells for research. Currently, federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is banned.