Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stem cells

Stem cells are cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Commonly, stem cells come from two main sources: embryos and adult tissue. Both types are potential to differentiate into different cell types (such as skin, muscle or bone). An important feature for stem cell is its asymmetric cell division, which means that when stem cell divides, one daughter cell remains as a stem cell and the other becomes a specialized cell.
  • Adult or somatic stem cells exist throughout the body and are found inside of different types of tissue. Adult stem cells can divide or self-renew indefinitely, enabling them to generate a range of cell types from the originating organ. It is generally thought that adult stem cells are limited in their ability to differentiate based on their tissue of origin, but there is some evidence to suggest that they can differentiate to become other cell types. Nevertheless, the separating of somatic stem cells is very challenging.
  • Embryonic stem cells are derived from a human embryo that is in the blastocyst phase of development. These so called totipotent cells have total potential to develop into any cell in the body. All the cells of our body are originally made from these cells. There are hard ethical questions in the use of embryonic stem cells and it's difficult to get them to specialize into a desired cell.
Medical researchers believe that stem cell therapy has the potential to dramatically change the treatment of human disease. A number of adult stem cell therapies already exist, particularly bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia. In the future, medical researchers have great hope being able to use technologies derived from stem cell research to treat a wider variety of diseases. Fingers crossed!


17 comments:

  1. yes i don't understand why people are against this, it could save so many people if only they research some more.

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  2. used to take bioengineering for my diploma, it was a headache, this made things simpler :P

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  3. I hate how this issue has been so worked up. Stem cell research is absolutely necessary.

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  4. We should have been researching with stem cells for years now. What a surprise that an outdated superstitious belief system(religion) halts the progress of science once more.

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  5. I have written a paper on it, very interesting material.

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  6. The reasoning behind the lack of research is . . . . .

    What is that word that means bovine excrement?

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  7. Awesome blog man! Keep up the great work!

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  8. Stem cells should be researched more

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  9. I believe too that we would need more stem cell research. We don't even know what diseases the future brings.

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  10. Should be researched more.

    Nice objective touch to your post btw. Easy to get dragged away.

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  11. The government hates funding stem cell research, because it may be a cure to diseases that are making them loads of money.

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  12. I'm all for it. People need to get over their unintelligent reasons against it.

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  13. Stem cell needs to be developed! Come check me out, alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  14. Interesting I've never thought about this before

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  15. sadly we do not research preventive medication as there is no value in it. if we heal people then they will no longer need medicine and therefore no more money. I have seen some wonderful miracles come from stem cells, like regrowing whole limbs and the such, and yet, we refuse to allow the research.

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