Using Stem cells in research and therapy is one of the most promising discoveries in scientific and medical history. The controversies in the US that follow this discovery have proven to be a challenge to further developments, however the progress made in international countries have been promising to the medical community. Research shows that Stem cell research is beneficial to medical advancement because of the possibility of putting the human race one step closer to the answer for incurable diseases, replacing or repairing damaged organs and spinal cords, and attaining the United States scientific progression and achievement. Stem cell research is in its earliest stages of progress. In order to understand the benefits of stem cell research it is important to understand where the various types of stem cells come from and what purpose they serve. The two main types of stem cells that are used in research today are embryonic stem cells and Somatic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are formed during the normal embryonic development; these cells can be taken from the early embryo and grown in a dish. The potential for treatment from the embryonic stem cells is vast; they are able to become almost any type of cell. Somatic stem cells (also referred to as adult stem cells) are found in the body and are used to replace cells that are lost. Somatic stem cells are used routinely in the treatment of blood disorders, but these stem cells are only able to become a subgroup of their related cells. A newer and more promising type of stem cell is the Induced Pluripotent Stem cell or (IPS), these cells are taken from the patient and reprogrammed to act as a different cell. These cells are promising for treatment because these cells are taken from the patient themselves and the occurrence of rejection is thus lowered.
Stem cell research can help the medical community reach one step closer for the answer to diseases that are considered incurable today such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s and several other diseases. According to (Filomeno, P., Dayan, V., & Touriño, C. 2012) the use of stem cells are being tested for treatment in four main areas; immune disorders such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and sepsis; cartilage regeneration in bones; cell vehicles for gene therapy; and to improve hematopoietic stem cell engraftment. By solving the mystery to one autoimmune disorder, the possibilities for discovering treatments to related diseases is also possible because of their core relation to each other.
Using stem cells can not only help to find answers to incurable diseases but they are also able to regrow cells or tissue to repair or regrow certain organs. According to (Angelo, H. et al 2012) “We have shown for the first time improvements in functional electrophysiological behavior in conjunction with biological evidence of both OL differentiation and myelin formation in vivo. Combining this evidence with additional studies in order to elucidate the full mechanisms of stem cell integration and spinal cord repair will inevitably lead to un-matched treatment for patients with SCI in the near future.” The research that was conducted on rats one group had completely severed spinal cords and the other group had only partially injured spinal cords. The conclusion of this test two weeks after stem cells were transplanted was that the group with the partially severed spinal cords had better results, and regained more function. Whereas the group with the completely severed spinal cords had lower instance of repair then those with partially severed spinal cords. There are some other factors that may alter the results, such as where the spinal cord was severed, swelling, how long the spinal cord has been injured, age and health of the rat. This research can give us some hope that if these types of results can be found in rats then humans are one step closer to