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Human Embryonic Stem Cells And Induced Pluripotent Cells

1136 words - 5 pages

Human Embryonic Stem cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are two modern methods of research; and treatment being aimed at the treatment of cancer, and many degenerative and genetic diseases. Stem cells are cells with the ability to develop into a cell of a different type, some types of stem cells are able to differentiate or change into a cell which is specific and functional to a specific tissue or organ system. This unique ability is what many scientists are trying to focus towards regeneration of different tissues, or the creation of new tissue to help cure, or treat diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and alzheimer's.
Human Embryonic Stem Cells originate from a preimplantation phase embryonic cell. These cells have the unique ability to differentiate into any type of cell. These cells are able to divide quickly, like they would during the process of fetal development. These qualities have made it possible for researchers to understand when and how certain cells differentiate, or change, to develop into different types of cells. Because of this, the researchers have been able to pinpoint the locations of certain genes and their gene switches, and are able to replicate this process in order to develop new tissue. These human embryonic stem cells are generated by a process of transferring cells from an embryo into a nutrient filled culture disc. On this disc the cells grow and divide. Once cells span the whole disc some of the cells are replated into fresh nutrient discs so that they will continue to divide and multiply. This process is completed and repeated several times so that there will be several millions of cells for the researcher to work with. The cells which are produced much undergo certain testing in order to see if they have the correct characteristics of an true pluripotent embryonic stem cell. These testing methods include inspection by microscope of cell surface markers and transcription factors. These factors help turn the different genes on and off at the right times. The cells are allowed to grow for several months in order to make sure that the cells have the correct long term renewal and growth potential. The final stage of testing is to place the cells into a mouse. If the mouse does not reject the cells, a benign tumor called a teratoma will present itself. Because teratomas are comprised of multiple different types of cells, this demonstrates that the new cells are able to differentiate into different kinds of cells. (National Institute of Health, 2010)
Human Embryonic Stem cells are able to be used for researchers to gain a deeper insight to how certain genes, and their switches work to turn something from an embryo into an actual living breathing human. These gene switches are the parts of the genetic code which tell the cells to turn into an arm rather than a fin, and a toe rather than webbed feet. Through this research, there will be the possibility to treat and possible cure many diseases which are...

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