Stem cells have the potential to develop into several different cell types in the body during early life and growth. They also have the ability to act as an internal repair system for tissues. They can do this without limit as long as the organism is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the ability either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more direct function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
Stem cells are determined by two important characteristics. First, they do not have a specific purpose or duty and can renew themselves through cell division. Second, under certain situations they can become tissue or organ specific cells and designated functions. In stomach or bone marrow, stem cells can divide to repair and replace damaged tissues. In others they can only do this under the right circumstances.
Stem cells are needed by living organisms for many reasons. In the 2-to 5-day old embryo, called a blastocyst, the inner cells form into cell typed and organs such as lung heart eggs sperm and other tissues. In adult tissues stem cells generate replacements for bone marrow muscle, and brain, and injured or diseased tissue. They have the special ability to treat diabetes and heart disease; however this has not been tested enough.
Stem cell labs enable scientists to learn about the cells properties and how they are different from specialized cells. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to learn new drugs and study growth and the causes of birth defects. Research on stem cells advances every day from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells and also grow into specific job cells.
Stem cells can be extracted from bone marrow, peripheral blood, and umbilical cord blood. All 3 sources of stem cells have been proven to work. Bone marrow was the first used but is now not the most popular use. Bone marrow has few stem cells and takes the longest to recover. Peripheral stem cells are the most common used today; doctors can also extract the most stem cells from this source. Cord blood stem cells are a good choice if the patient’s tissue is rare or hard to match, but a drawback is that the patient cannot be called back for more after the cord blood stem cells are used.
My opinion after extensive research and study on this topic. Stem cells hold such great potential and are thought by many scientists that they may hold possible cures for spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and much more! In concluding with my opinion I also think that much more research and development is needed in this field of medical science. Stem cells have great rewards yet have a lot of unknown and risks factors. But over all I think that stem cells is a great idea and can be used to save lives.
Stem cells have a personal effect on my family because my great uncle had cancer that was not going to be able to be cured by chemo/radiation. The doctors decided to try stem cells, they took the stem cells from his bone marrow and at first it began to work and he was recovering for 6 months straight then things turned around and his body began to attack the stem cells and he latter lost the fight with cancer and died. What I got from this experience is that st3em cells can and do work but need extensive research to perfect and avoid cons of stem cells
Over 100 million Americans suffer from diseases that eventually may be treated more effectively or even cured with embryonic stem cells therapy. Some scientists think this might have the greatest potential for ending human suffering. Actual cures are going to be hard to create, not even one cure has been created by stem cell research.
Over all stem cells should be used and researched to save living humans, even though they are sometimes killing embryos, many lives can be saved including my great uncles. This field of research should diffidently be incorporated into medical hospitals.