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Stem cells are: WHAT ARE STEM CELLS? UNSPECIALIZED CELLS that have the ability to regenerate themselves or differentiate into many different kinds of cells that have a specific function. For example, stem cells can differentiate into heart cells, blood cells, liver cells, and etc., when they are signaled to. These signals tell them to turn on and off certain genes. Stem cell research is mainly focused on developing medical treatments and for learning purposes. pg
What are the different kinds of stem cells? Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. · Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. ADULT STEM CELLS: are extracted from the fully developed tissues of adults and children. For example, it could be found in the umbilical cord, bone marrow, liver, or the skin. allows for humans and animals to regenerate blood, skin, and other tissues when needed are termed as “multipotent” because they are limited in what they can differentiate into. However, scientists recently reprogrammed adult stem cells to revert into their embryonic state. These cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells and possess the same abilities as embryonic stem cells.
Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can either be adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells. EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS Scientists believe that the potentials of embryonic stem cells are limitless. Embryonic stem cells are formed during the earliest stages of human or animal development. Most of the fertilized egg used to derive the stem cells, are created at in vitro fertilization clinics and are no longer needed by couples. g
In addition, through therapeutic cloning, scientist can genetically modify a fertilized egg to contain specific genes. Therefore, the stem cells harvested will contain the desired genes. HOW ARE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS DERIVED? In the first days after fertilization, the fertilized egg forms a mass of cells. The stem cells of the fertilized egg are totipotent, which means that they can become all types of cell in the body. After 4-5 days of fertilization, a fertilized egg becomes a blastocysts, which contains pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells can become most types of cells. These stem cells are harvested from the blastocyst and cultivated in lab dishes into stem cell lines, which are later used for research The blastocyst is destroyed in the process.
OPPONENTS of Embryonic STEM CELL RESEARCH family/ / There is great controversy revolving around embryonic stem cell research. It is criticized because to derive embryonic stem cells, an developing embryo must be destroyed. There are many who are against this research, including religious groups, specifically the Roman Catholics, and also, anti-abortion activists. They argue that: Life begins at the moment of conception. A fertilized egg is a human life with a moral status. It is also wrong to kill a person (embryo) for the benefit of another or for any other reason. Tax dollars should not be spent on destroying embryos and therefore, a human life. There is no guarantee that the research will lead to cures. Since human stem cell is being researched on animals, animal rights are violated. Also, creating transgenic animals is wrong. Other people fear that scientists might abuse the research. /00571/embryo_protest_BM_B_ g.jpg /adopt-embryo-pope-benedict.jpg
ADVOCACY for Embryonic STEM CELL RESEARCH There are also many people, including patient support groups, political leaders and some religions that support this research. Their advocacy is supported by: Since the blastocysts are unwanted from IVF clinics, they would be discarded anyways. Some believe that an embryo gains the moral status of a human being after 14 days of development when the “primitive streak” appears. The primitive streak is a faint and dark line of cells that mark the earliest foundation of the human body. The research shows great promise in curing many diseases and gives a sense of hope for patients with diseases. _350x350_Front.jpg stemcell/images/ribon-support.gif
Stem Cells in the 21 st Century : In all current and future stem cell treatments, it is vital that the stem cells used must be a match to the patient so that their immune system will not reject them. Today, adult stem cells therapies are already used to treat diseases. For example, in bone marrow transplants, healthy blood stem cells from the bone marrow or even the umbilical cords is used to treat leukemia, blood disorders, and other diseases by replacing the damaged stem cells of the bone marrow with the healthy ones. Also, stem cells from the bone marrow and blood have been used in clinical trials to heal damaged hearts, regenerate cartilage, restore corneas, and build skin for burnt victims. Although treatments with embryonic stem cells have not yet been used on humans, clinical trials with embryonic stem cells on animals have been successful. patient.jpg
The Future of Stem Cell Research in the 21 st Century Scientists propose that the potential of stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, can revolutionize medicine. It hold great promises in curing diseases that involves replacing damaged cells with cells that arise from stem cells. Lastly, stem cells may be used to create complex organs and tissues for transplants.
The Future of Stem Cell Research in the 21 st Century - Despite the controversy, recently, stem cell research will continue to gain more funding in countries that allow research. -On March 9, 2009, President Obama reversed an 8 year policy that limited federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. -More federal funds will allow researchers to advance further in developing stem-cell based treatments / _ _0309dv-pol-obama- stem-cells-SJ-s260608AT1VW104.jpg -Clinical trials with embryonic stem cells will not be implemented on humans for many years until extensive testing and studies are done, and until the controversy and issues surrounding embryonic stem cells are resolved. UNTIL THEN.... “…the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown and it should not be overstated” -President Barack Obama (March, 2009)
WORKS CITED: Allman, T. (2006). Great Medical Discoveries: Stem Cells. Farmington Hills: Lucent Books. Black, L. (2006). The Stem Cell Debate: The Ethics and Science Behind the Research. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, Inc. Carmichael, Mary. (2005). Organs Under Construction. Newsweek, 145(26A), Retrieved May 12, 2009, from Science Reference Center database. Fox, Cynthia. (2005, September). Can stem cell save dying hearts?. Discover, 26(29), Retrieved May 12, 2009, from Science Reference Center database. Hornyak, T. (2008, December). Turning Back the Cellular Clock. Scientific American, 299 (6). Retrieved May 12, 2009, from Science Reference Center database. Lanza, R., & Rosenthal, N. (2004, June). The Stem Cell Challenge. Scientific American, 290 (6), Retrieved May 15, 2009, from Science Reference Center database. McLaren, A. (2007, February). Science and ethics of stem cell research. Current Science, 92 (4), Retrieved March 25, 2009, from Science Reference Center database. Obama overturns Bush policy on stem cells. (2009, March 9). Retrieved May 18, 2009, from Stem Cell Basics. (2009). Retrieved April 12, 2009, from Stem Cells. (2004). Retrieved May 10, 2009, from Stem Cells in the Future. (2008, December 12). Retrieved May 14, 2009, from Stem Cells: FAQS. (2009, March 9). Retrieved May 12, 2009, from