Benefits to New Jersey
Public Health Benefits of Stem Cell Science
Stem cell research offers the best chance for producing therapies to alleviate the suffering of millions of people living with currently incurable medical conditions including but not limited to:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Heart disease
- Brain injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Leukemia and other cancers
In the absence of new treatments, it is estimated that close to 75,000 New Jersey residents will die prematurely from the first six common causes of death listed above, between 2016 and 2025.*
Stem cells offer exceptional promise for medical advances because they have the unique capacity to develop into any kind of human tissue, and they can divide indefinitely in laboratory cultures.
By understanding how stem cells produce muscles, nerves, skin, bone and other tissues, scientists hope to discover new means for rebuilding damaged or diseased parts of the body. For instance, stem cells might be used to regenerate nerve cells within a severed spinal cord or replace lost heart muscle following heart attacks.
Stem cells are found throughout the body in the brain, blood, cornea, retina, heart, fat, skin, dental pulp, bone marrow, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, intestines and umbilical cord throughout the life cycle. They are primarily responsible for building, repairing and maintaining tissues and organs.
* Rutgers economist Joseph J. Seneca, The Economic Benefits of the New Jersey Stem Cell Research Initiative, click here to download the PDF report.