Ingrid Machado / CEO Stem Cell Miami
The other day a friend asked me what my New Year’s resolution was. When I told her “communicate better,” she gave me the kind of look that says “There are SO many other things you should be working on!”
I can’t blame my friend—she has the kind of profession that everyone understands. At parties, when people ask her what she does, she says she’s a lawyer and the questions stop there. Me? I tell people I work with stem cells and they follow me for the rest of the evening asking questions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the questions. It’s just that I keep assuming that people know about my field when, in reality, there’s a tremendous amount of misinformation that people have to sort through.
Anyway, I’m writing this on New Year’s Day and I need to get to work on my resolution, so let’s take a few minutes to go over what stem cells are, what they can and cannot do, and what treatments are available. First of all, stem cells are just a special type of cell that can transform itself into a different type of cell. In embryos, stem cells become the various cells that make up the body; in adults, stem cells take care of the damage repair and cell turnover that keeps us going.