Stem Cell Research Essay

Submitted By abbe13wallace
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Pages: 13

Stem Cell Research Stem cells are undifferentiated types of cells, which mean that they have the capacity to renew themselves. Their ability to differentiate into other cells is an unlimited process that can be found in all different tissues and organs. Stem cells serve as a “repairing system” for the body, meaning that they can divide without any limit to cure other dead cells. When a stem cell divides, it has the choice to either remain a stem cell or transform into another type of cell. The purpose of studying said stem cells is to greater the chance of curing diseases and saving lives. These stem cells hold great potential for future discoveries in medicine and science. Stem cells are primarily used to differentiate into the cells found in its specific organ or tissue it is placed in. By doing this, these cells can take place of the damaged cell tissue and can cure the disease that was diagnosed to have once been there. No one knows how these stem cells work. It took 20 years to gain knowledge of how to grow these embryonic stem cells (Saxena). Stem cell research has the potential to drastically change and save many lives. There are two types of stem cells. There are embryonic stem cells, “which are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in-vitro clinic and then donated for research purposed with informed consent of the donors” (Saxena). These stem cells are found in the three to five day old embryo, which is known as a blastocyte. In these blastocytes, a
“Small group of high specialized cells gives rise to hundreds of highly specialized cells needed to make up the adult organism. Embryonic stem cells derived from the blasocytes are capable of self-renewal and can remain in an undifferentiated state for definite lineages” (Saxena).
The second type of stem cells are adult stem cells, which are “undifferentiated cells found in different tissues that can renew themselves and (with certain limitations) differentiate to yield all the specialized cell types from which it originated” (Saxena). These adult stem cells are found in more tissues that are used for transplants. While embryonic stem cells can become all cell types of the body due to their “pluripotent nature,” adult stem cells are limited to differentiating into different cell types of their specific tissue or organ from which they were derived (Saxena). Out of the two, embryonic stem cells have been proven to be the most promising, yet the most harmful to the embryo. By taking these embryonic stem cells, you are killing the embryo inside of the womb. Despite this, many scientists still take this route to obtaining the stem cells needed for their research. This is what causes the moral argument for many anti-stem cell activists.
Stem cells can be found in many origins of the body. They can be found in baby teeth, blood, bone marrow, cord blood, ear, liver, mesenchymal cells, muscle, nasal, neural chest, neural, pancreas, placenta, uterus, and scalp. Specifically, bone marrow cells are used to treat diabetes, heart damage, liver damage, and strokes or other “neurodegenerative” diseases (citizenlinkorg). This is just a small example of the extreme potential that stem cells have to cure the human body.
Although embryonic stem cells have been proven to be the most promising, what most scientists don’t know is that stem cells, taken from the umbilical cord, are actually more promising. Dr. Colin McGuckin of Kingston University stated that,
Acquiring stem cells from embryos also has major limitations because it is difficult to obtain enough cells to transplant as well as getting the right tissue type for the patient. Using cord blood gets over that obstacle because we can produce more stem cells and, with a global birth rate of 100 million babies a year, there is a better chance of getting the right tissue type for the many patients out there waiting for stem cell therapy. There is also far less likelihood of such cells being rejected…