What is the relevance of stem cells to the aging process? (links)
Stem cell technology, especially coupled with the science of therapeutic cloning, has the potential to greatly change many peoples' lives for the better. In vitro differentiation of stem cells could lead to the grafting of tissue or even to the transplantation of entire organs from an artificial culture environment into a patient.
Despite its potential, stem cell therapy is still in its infancy and many goals lie ahead before its widespread application. Undestanding how to properly differentiate stem cells into the proper specialized types and organs is an arduous task not solved for many cell types. How the tissue should be grown and when to transplant it, and into whom, is yet to be formalized for many but not all stem cell types. Additionally, from the perspective of stem cell therapy for aging, despite the fact that the successful transplantation of tissue into the brain has already been accomplished, post-mitotic tissues like neurons are far less likely to be positively effected by stem cell therapy because they can't be replaced by new cells. Thus, stem cell therapy has many promising applications but by no means should be even theoretically regarded as applicable to all facets of the aging process.
Tune back here in the near future for more in-depth information on stem cells and aging!