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A study on stem cells

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  1. Introduction
  2. History of stem cell research
  3. Uniqueness of stem cells
  4. Properties of stem cells
  5. Signals that control a cell's genes
  6. The most unique property of stem cells
  7. Embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells
  8. Process of characterization to identify embryonic stem cells
  9. Indications of a healthy population
  10. Uses of stem cells
  11. Situation in the United States
  12. Conclusion
  13. Works cited

With millions of people dying and suffering every year from various diseases, scientists are becoming more and more eager to find cures and treatments. One potential treatment emanates from the research of human stem cells. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the ability to regenerate themselves. They are also capable of differentiating into specialized cells with specific functions such as heart muscle cells, blood cells, and other cells from different organs. These simple facts have already dazzled many researchers because it means that stem cells can potentially be cultured into different tissue and organ cells to respectively restore a damaged tissue or organ. Believed to have ?remarkable implications? for medicine, stem cells have caught the attention of many researchers and even those suffering from diseases. Countries around the world have already placed millions of dollars into human stem cell research. Researchers hope that this will give them more knowledge in how stem cells work, and from there, help them develop cell-based therapy and treatment for diseases. While stem cell research can bring potential implications to future therapy and medicine, it has also raised many controversies in regards to the way it is created and used (Stem Cells: Therapy for the Future).

[...] Neural stem cells can be injected into different regions of the brain through culturing of in vitro called neurospheres, which are ?floating heterogeneous aggregates of cells, containing a large proportion of stem cells? (Brent and Samuel 1707-1710). Since then, scientists have done many experiments to understand how stem cells work. Trials after trials, scientists have learned that there are three basic properties of stem cells. Furthermore, each of these properties has contributed, and continues to contribute to the incentives of future stem cell research. [...]

[...] While adult stem cells have been successful as a regenerative medicine, stem cell research itself is in question, raising many controversies, which have caused a great hindrance in research and potential advancements. Specifically, embryonic stem cells caught the attention of those in the Pro- life movement because the process of obtaining embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of an embryo. Scientists grow embryonic stem cells by extracting the stem cells from destroyed embryos. The embryonic stem cells are then used to treat patients. [...]

[...] The simplest method that scientists use to identify the stem cells is labeling the cells in each tissue with a molecular marker and then waiting to see what the specific cell types they generate are. For example, if a sample of stem cells from the bone marrow differentiates into red blood cells, then the stem cells are most likely hematopoietic stem cells. The second method involves removal of the cells from a living animal. The cells are placed in cell culture and labeled there. [...]

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