The Legal Environment
Adult Stem Cell research achieved its first success in the1968. The treatment of a patient with severe combined immunodeficiency disorder was a success. Adult Stem Cells have also been successful in treating leukemia’s. A patient with AIDS and leukemia was treated and cured. The donor stem cells had a gene variant that resists AIDS. The product of using stem cells is that it is ability to cure disease. The stem cells can be found in adults and embryos. The Mayo Clinic lists the categories as shown: Embryonic stem cells. These stem cells come from embryos that are four to five days old. At this stage, an embryo is called a blastocyst and has about 150 cells. These are pluripotent (ploo-RIP-uh-tunt) stem cells, meaning they can divide into more stem cells or they can specialize and become any type of body cell. Because of this versatility, embryonic stem cells have the highest potential for use to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs in people.
Adult stem cells. These stem cells are found in small numbers in most adult tissues, such as bone marrow. Adult stem cells are also found in children and in placentas and umbilical cords. Because of that, a more precise term is somatic stem cell, meaning "of the body." Until recently, it was believed that adult stem cells could only create similar types of cells. For instance, it was thought that stem cells residing in the bone marrow could give rise only to blood cells. However, emerging evidence suggests that adult stem cells may be more versatile than previously thought and able to create unrelated types of cells after all. For instance, bone marrow stem cells may be able to create muscle cells. This research has led to early-stage clinical trials to test usefulness and safety in people.
Adult cells altered to have properties of embryonic stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells). Scientists have successfully transformed regular adult cells into stem cells using a technique called nuclear reprogramming. By altering the genes in the adult cells, researchers can reprogram the cells to act similarly to embryonic stem cells. This new technique may help researchers avoid the controversies that come with embryonic stem cells, and prevent immune system rejection of the new stem cells. But, it's not yet known if altering adult cells will cause adverse effects in humans. Researchers have been able to take regular connective tissue cells and reprogram them to become heart cells. The new heart cells were injected into mice with heart failure, where they improved heart function and survival time.
Amniotic fluid stem cells. Researchers have also discovered stem cells in amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid fills the sac that surrounds and protects a developing fetus in the uterus. Researchers have identified stem cells in samples of amniotic fluid drawn from pregnant women during a procedure called amniocentesis. During this test, a doctor inserts a long, thin needle into a pregnant woman's abdomen to collect amniotic fluid. The fluid can be tested for abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, and fetal maturity. The procedure is generally considered safe for the developing fetus and the mother. More study of amniotic fluid stem cells is needed to understand their potential ("Stem cell transplant," 2012) Embryonic stem cells are more versatile and are preferred to be used. The Mayo Clinic’s opinion on which type of stem cell is best suited for research to cure dieses is described in this article:
While research into adult stem cells is promising and moving forward rapidly, adult stem cells may not be as versatile and durable as embryonic stem cells are. Adult stem cells may not be able to be manipulated to produce all cell types, which limits how they can be used to treat diseases, and they don't seem to have the same ability to multiply that embryonic stem cells do. They're also more likely to contain