Essay on Adult Stem Cells

Words: 1237
Pages: 5

Written Assignment 2: Biology and Technology in the Real World

Addresses course outcomes 2 and 3:
• use knowledge of biological principles to ask relevant questions about the natural world
• make observations and discriminate between scientific and pseudoscientific explanations 1. Select one of the following topics below.
2. Find articles related to the topic. 3. Write two pages, double spaced, excluding references. You must read the articles that you find and summarize the information they contain briefly in your own words. Extensive quotes from the article are discouraged. This assignment demonstrates the acceptable, ethical, and academic method for citing information from a public source. You may not use online
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Researchers believe that understanding basic stem cell biology along with the pathophysiology of human diseases that can be targeted would bring stem cell therapeutics closer to clinical applications (Lindvall and Kokaia, 2006). These ideas definitely seem promising, but, embryonic and adult stem cells to be used for these therapies come with their own set of pros and cons. Because of a difference in their potencies, there is a variance in the ability of these two cell types to form differentiated cells in the body. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent and when provided with the right set of conditions, can give rise to any cell type in the body whereas adult stem cells are limited to cell types of the tissue from which they are derived.
Embryonic stem cell therapy is still not favored because there is a high risk factor of tissue rejection after transplantation. Current stem cell therapies focus on highly plastic autologous adult stem cells (cells that are derived from one’s own body - this reduces the chances of tissue rejection) and are either very expensive or mostly experimental (under trials). But, obtaining adult stem cells from mature tissues is challenging and maintaining their cultures in vitro is even more difficult than embryonic stem cells. Culturing becomes an important aspect because large number of cells are required for stem cell