Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe.
According to the American Lung Association, over 16.4 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with the condition. However, it’s estimated that another 18 million people may have COPD and not know it.
There’s currently no cure for COPD. There are only treatments to improve quality of life and to slow the progression of the disease. However, there’s promising research that suggests stem cells may help treat this type of lung disease.
Stem cells are essential to every organism and share three main characteristics:
- They can renew themselves through cell division.
- Although they’re initially indistinguishable, they can differentiate themselves and take on the properties of several different structures and tissues, as the need arises.
- They can be transplanted into another organism, where they will continue to divide and replicate.
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