Essay Stem Cell

Submitted By cantbetrippin
Words: 667
Pages: 3

Park, Alice. “The Quest Resumes”. Time Magazine 2/9/2009 Vol. 173 Issue 5 p.38-43. Dr. Melton has been studying stem cell research for years. After eight years of political controversies, he and other researchers are coming back with discoveries that may save lives. Embryonic Stem Cells may be the thing of the past. Dr. Melton began his work on stem cells to try to find a way to produce insulin cells by using stem cells. After two decades of research he is convinced that stem cells will be a vital part in new therapies and treatments and possibly cures for many diseases including Diabetes. Just recently, embryonic stem cells could turn into any of the two hundred tissue types or adult cells from mature organs or skin that could only become specific types of tissue. But today this field of science encompasses beyond embryonic or adult stem cells. It has expanded into regenerative medicine. This new field of stem cells does not rely on embryos. He found a way to bypass stem cells completely. He found a way to generate new cells by manipulating one type of cell that is fully mature to become another type of cell. Another science researcher, Shinya Yamanaka, did a study where he took skin cells and added them with various genetic cocktails. The genetic cocktails came from thirty genes that are important in development. He finally hit the jack-pot with four genes and added them to the cells aboard a retrovirus. He cleaned the cells. He then reprogrammed the cells, turning the clock back, and made them embryonic once again without ever creating and embryo. A year later he added the same four genes to human skin cells. It again turned the clock back on those cells. Around the same time, Dr. Thomson achieved the same results using a different cocktail of genes. With both studies new cells called, pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, were now very real. With the new iPS technology a reality of unlimited cells can be reproduced. These cells can produce an unlimited amount of human stem cells that can in fact be turned into any cells that the body would need for repair or to be replaced. iPS cells make it possible for Dr. Melton to learn more about diseases and he can now understand how the diseases develop. He can watch Type I diabetes unfold in the lab from their embryonic state into the mature pancreatic cells. Dr. Melton…