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. [...]
[...] Different countries have different ideas on whether the usage of a stem cell is ethical or not. All of these factors can prevent researchers from unfolding the potential implications of the stem cells. With the concerns for the possibly inadequate execution of stem cell research, the policy was brought into question in 2003. In April of that year, Senator Arlen Specter made a proposal to the Bush administration. He requested for the policy to allocate more funding for human stem cell research. [...]
[...] Now that technology have advanced, scientists find that adult stem cells are found in more tissues and organs than they had ever imagined before. Adult stem cells can be found in the brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscle, peripheral blood, liver, and skin. The differentiation pathways for each stem cell are specific to their organ. Stem cells that can give rise to more than one cell types are said to be pluripotent. It is referred to as transdifferentiation and plasticity. However, adult stem cells are only multipotent, which means that they have a limit on how many different cell types they can form. [...]
[...] Embryonic stem cells are then extracted from the embryo, or a hollow ball called the blastocyst, which developed four to five days after fertilization. The blastocyst consists of three layers. The layer of cells that surrounds the blastocyst is called the trophoblast. The inside of the blastocyst is called the blastocoel. Inside of the blastocoel are approximately fifty cells. When these cells are grown under in vitro conditions, they are referred to as an embryonic stem cell line. Embryonic stem cells are believed to be a source of tissue replacement and regenerative medicine treatment for injuries or diseases because they have plasticity and unlimited potential for self-renewal, more so, than adult stem cells. [...]
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