BY DAVIS SUHAREVSKIS

They are the IT cells of current millennia. Everybody has heard of them and we are dying to learn more. Take a tour in understanding of pluripotent cells!

Living, breathing and even photosynthesizing stem cell calluses

Imagine a branch of a tree or better yet the end of basil stem on your windowsill (that you grow there for the fresh pesto) now imagine a cut on your finger (that you have acquired by making this pesto). What do these things have in common? The process of healing, growth and regeneration, that is dependent on a wonderful, yet so mysterious group of cells called STEM CELLS.

Smaller baby calluses that will grow big and green

IN YOU - AS WELL AS OTHER BEAUTIFUL BEASTS:

We can say, stem cells are the “younglings” of cells, and just like a young person has no idea what to do, a stem cell has no definitive purpose, they can multiply and that is about it. And just like young people these cells have immense potential and responsibility. In animals stem cells are the universal building block that generate all our cell types, they are found in pupils, bone marrow, skin and just about everywhere. These are called adult stem cells, and they can become only a single type of other cells: nerve cells, skin cells and so on. Whenever we get a wound, like the pesto cutting laceration, these adult stem cells are the healing team that become the tissue to form nice and healthy skin. Apart from these, there are the embryonic stem cells (found in the blastocyst just about five days after insemination) they are called pluripotent stem cells, and are literally the full package, because they become a wholly functioning organism.

They live in an incubator in lovely 26 °C

WHAT ABOUT THE BASIL OR ANY OTHER PLANT?

Plants have it quite good; in general, we can assume every cell in a plant is a stem cell. Meaning that it is technically possible to regenerate a plant from any given cell in it. Which is precisely the reason why ripping of a leaf or better yet the whole apex, does not harm the plant gravely, but allows it to divide and live on. It is so efficient that plants can even multiply this way.

Knowing what they are we can now figure out the benefits what plant stem cells can do for our skin. As a primary tool of regeneration plant stem cells pack an incredible variety of bioactive and beneficial molecules. When extracted these compounds have proven in multiple research to be loved by human skin. Not all mechanisms are understood but the effects are evident.

INTRODUCING - THE GREEN NORTHERN DRAGON!

Northern Dragonhead plant grown in lab from stem cells

Northern Dragonhead plant is used in MÁDARA SPF 30 face and body products

Dracocephalum ruyschiana or Northern Dragonhead it is a rare plant even in the wild nature of Latvia. Which is the reason why stem cell technology is such a (plant) life saver. Scientists in the University of Latvia showed us the nitty-gritty of stem cell extract. It starts with a sample of the plant (a leaf or two is more than enough) extracted in wild. Treated with antimicrobials (it must be more than squeaky clean) it then is cut up into small pieces and placed in a nutrient rich habitat. There it has the circumstances to grow, but special mix of phytohormones (plants have hormones as well as animals) blocks it from differentiating.

They are very similar to the mother organism and can start to differentiate again. From these calluses the extract is then obtained. What an extract that is! Packed with flavonoids and polyphenols that are renowned antioxidants. Accompanied by rosmarinic and chlorogenic acid that are both antioxidants and found to have anti-inflammatory effects as well. It also stimulates the synthesis of new collagen and works as an inhibitor for collagen degrading enzymes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only for this extract but for the technology altogether. Researchers in the stem cell lab are experimenting with different extraction methods, ways of growing the stem cells and different plant species. Stay tuned!