The Persian history of practicing and studying medicine is a long and prolific one. The Iranian academic centers like the Gundeshapur Academy (3rd century AD) were forums for collaboration among great scientists from different civilizations in ancient times.
This heritage is now, not just honored in present day Iran, but it is, actually being relived, one of which being, stem cell research. You see when it comes to science and technology, especially certain fields and disciplines of it, Iran is perhaps usually not considered a high-tech country; but given the recent developments and advancements if not achievements in the area of biotechnology and related engineering fields, things might just be about to change a little.
Stem cells are the body’s master cells, and they can regenerate themselves, in a process called self-renewal. Stem cells can also reproduce a variety of other kinds of cells and they fall into two categories: Embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells.
The main difference between embryonic and adult stem cells is their type of generative potency. In the lab, embryonic stem cells keep reproducing themselves until they’re coaxed into creating specific types of cells. In the body, these cells eventually disappear, so a human adult body no longer contains cells that can generate any kind of cell, at least not in the normal course of things, and despite the fact that scientists can manipulate adult cells to become other types of cells.
Stem cell research began in Iran close to 3 decades ago, and as a consequence of national efforts and policies for remedying infertility locally instead of having them treated elsewhere and at a time when numerous cases were being subsidized and consuming a good deal of the scarce government medical funds during the late 80’s, and toward the end of and following the imposed war on Iran.
The pioneers were a group of talented, dedicated and accomplished young Iranian biological and medical scientists. The Royan Institute of Regenerative Medicine and biotechnology is a research and clinical center for Infertility and reproductive health in Iran. It is a public non-governmental non-profitable organization established in 1991 as a research institute for Reproductive Biomedicine and infertility treatments.
Later and in 1998 the Royan institute was approved by the Iranian Ministry of Health, Medical Treatment and Education, as a cell-based research center. Now this institute acts as leader of stem cell research and also one of the best clinics for infertility treatment.