Facts In the Cell What is a stem cell? What is a stem cell?
Nothing may be more controversial right now in science, for the general public anyway, than the research of embryonic stem cells. A research process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer [SCNT] allows scientists to produce embryonic stem cells without using sperm to fertilize an egg.
Bone marrow transplants already use stem cells to treat leukemia and have been doing so for over 50 years. The percentage of Americans support federal funding of research on chronic diseases using stem cells taken from human embryos: Embryonic stem cells were first discovered in and research on them has not yet been well funded.
A single stem cell treatment will not work on a multitude of unrelated diseases or conditions. Embryonic stem cells can be obtained from the blastocyst, a very early stage of development that consists of a mostly hollow ball of approximately cells and is barely visible to the naked eye.
All the human embryonic stem cell lines currently in use come from four to five day old embryos left over from in vitro fertilization. Some embryonic stem cell lines also come from embryos that a couple has chosen not to implant because they carry genetic mutations like the ones that cause cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs disease.
Embryonic stem cells do not come from aborted fetuses.
If embryonic stem cells are allowed to clump together to form embryoid bodies, they begin to differentiate spontaneously.
Many of the ethical debates about embryonic stem cells involve when a human being is actually defined as a human. InPresident George W.
Both sides of the equation understand that there can be many benefits to the human race through the research of these cells. What must be defined is a moral question that has individual morality as its answer. Stem Cell Medical Research Stem cells are one of the most exciting fields of medical research to explore as the technology of the 21st century is explored.
These cells hold the promise of being able to cure dozens of diseases and heal injuries, like spinal cord injuries, that are almost always permanent. Why are stem cells such an exciting field of research? They are able to copy themselves for an unlimited amount of time and they can grow into every cell type in the body.
Even when they copy themselves, they can still remain as stem cells or become different cells, like muscles or tendons. Some even grow into bones or help to support the immune system. Not all stem cells are the same. This is why research into embryonic stem cells is important. Unlike adult stem cells, they are pluripotent, which means they can turn into anything except an egg or sperm.
Defining a Human Being When is a human being actually a human being? Some people believe that the moment of conception is the point in time when a human being has the moral equivalent of a person. Others believe that this definition is reached at some point during the pregnancy, but before birth happens.
Others say that a human being does not become a person until after they are born.
Where you stand on embryonic stem cells is typically based on where you stand on this definition. The difficulty in this debate comes down to consistency.
If embryos are the moral equivalent of a fully developed human, then it is not just embryonic cell research that should be banned.
Think about all of the blastocyst and embryos that are created by the in vitro fertilization process.Research is ongoing to further understand the molecular events and controls necessary for stem cells to become specialized cell types. Stem Cell Definition. Stem Cells: One of the human body's master cells, with the ability to grow into any one of the body's more than cell types.
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The results of extensive research studies by our scientific team, confirmed by independent laboratory testing, has led us to reach various conclusions, including. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.
May 09, · Multipotent stem cells: these descend from pluripotent stem cells and can differentiate into many cell lines within a specific type of tissue.
Unipotent stem cells: this type of stem cells is a descendant of a multipotent stem cell and can give rise to a single cell type. Embryonic stem cells are the basic building blocks for some types of cells in the body and can become anything: heart, muscle, brain, skin, blood.
Researchers hope that by guiding stem cells in the laboratory into specific cell types, they can be used to treat diabetes, Parkinson's disease.