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Stem Cell Research Could Change the World

Essay by   •  October 31, 2011  •  Essay  •  555 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,280 Views

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Stem-Cell Research Could Change the World

Stem-cell research is the way to the future in terms of finding cures for many of the worst diseases today. This research is preformed in two ways. One is by taking stem cells from embryos (embryonic stem-cell research), and the other is by taking stem cells from adult cells (adult stem-cell research). A stem-cell is "a cell that upon division replaces its own numbers and also gives rise to cells that differentiate further into one or more specialized types" (Dictionary). What this means is that the cells are able to produce more of themselves and of other needed cells. Because stem cells can produce more of other needed cells, like B and T-cells, doctors can use them to help patients who need procedures done such as heart tissue replacement, breast reconstruction, organ transplant and replacement, and leukemia treatments. Stem cells hold a wide variety of uses and give way to major advancements in the medical field.

Stem cells are basically a clean slate that can be made into practically any cell needed in the human body. Currently many patients with "diseases that result in total tissue and/or organ destruction" only have the option for transplants with donor tissues and/ or organs ("Stem Cells"). With the advancements that are occurring in stem cell research, doctors are finding more options for these patients. By collecting a small portion of these cells, researchers have been able to "generate an unlimited supply" within the lab that can be made into whatever the pateint needs (Park). They can also use these cells are created and how they work. This gives the doctors and researchers a special insight into the cells so that when there is a problem with the cell it is easier to pin point what went wrong with in the cell (Park).

Today researchers have made many advancements in finding ways to cure and treat different devastating diseases. Some of these treatments are still in the lab phases though. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disease whose treatment is still in the lab phase. Researchers found that "transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells are able to make proper brain connections in newborn mice" (Recent Advancements). This proves that stem cell can be made to become specific brain cells needed for treatments in nervous system diseases like ALS and Parkinson's disease. Neural cell, made from embryonic stem cells can also be made to repair the brain after a stoke. In a stroke many neural cells are killed because of loss of oxygen to the brain. The stem cells can be made to replace those lost cells. Stem cells can also be made into immune cells much like what scientist at the Universityof Minnesota are doing. They have found that cancer-killing immune cells can completely eliminate cancerous tumors (Recent Advancements).

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