Stem Cells Have Memories, Too

Stem Cells Have Memories, Too


When you were a child, did you ever injure yourself in such a way you inadvertently taught yourself a lesson? For example, children who touch the burner on a hot stove likely won’t make the same mistake twice. Maybe you ate a food that went bad and it got you very sick - so sick that you refuse to eat that food ever again.

These behaviors are human nature - we learn from our mistakes. But did you know the human brain isn’t the only part of the body that learns from previous mistakes? That’s right - stem cells can "learn" from previous injuries, too.

According to researchers from New York University, stem cells have the ability to learn from past injury and adapt so as not to repeat the behavior that caused said injury again. Pretty cool, right? Definitely - unless the message gets mixed up along the way. Then, according to researchers, those mixed messages can cause a whole list of ailments, including chronic inflammation, allergic reactions and more. This helps them to prevent future injury and do their job to protect the body.

Even cooler? There is evidence to suggest that data collected by present generations of stem cells can be "handed down" to future generations of stem cells within the same body, all as a means to protect the body from harm. And this is more good news, because this means they could be used to design future treatments, making some of these conditions – particularly allergies – obsolete.

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