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Shoulc Stem Cell Research Be Cut?

1667 words - 7 pages

Stem Cells are very unique types of cells that have an incredible potential to develop and transform into different types of cells in the body, not only producing brain cells, but containing the ability to produce more stem cells, known as a process called self renewal. So is it possible that stem cells can cure diseases and redevelop organs that are lost for some? There are multiple types of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ES), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and adult or somatic stem cells. Though various stem cells do retain similar properties there are difference as well. ES cells, for example, are able to differentiate into any type of cell where as adult stem cells are ...view middle of the document...

These organs include the heart and pancreas. Until recently, scientists only worked with embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells (non-embryonic). The newly discovered stem cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells. These new cells are adult cells that have been genetically altered into an embryonic stem cell (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). All stem cells have three general properties: they are capable of renewing and dividing themselves for long periods of time, they are unspecialized, and they can give rise to specialized cell types. The difference between embryonic stem cells and non-embryonic is that embryonic stem cells may replicate many times for a year or more under controlled conditions (in a lab) while most non-embryonic stem cells cannot (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). A few of the conducted studies that are being held recently include treatments to treat chronic kidney disease and heart failure, ischemic cardiomyopathey, and damaged gut of inflammatory bowel disease. These are only a few experiments that are held which show the importance in usefulness of stem cells. Controversy arises, despite the significance, due to the fact that stem cells come mainly from old embryos. This argument generates great debate over stem cell research on whether such experiments should continue or not.
Main Body
Researchers in Canada are using adult bone marrow stem cells to find new ways of treating chronic kidney disease and heart failure in rats. Dr. Darren Yuen and Dr. Richard Gilbert showed that enriched stem cells improved kidney and heart function in rats with both diseases. In an entry posted online in the journal Stem Cells, both doctors stated that they had discovered how enriched bone marrow stem cells secrete hormones in the petri dish and, once injected into the rats, had the same positive impact as the stem cells. Dr. Yuen, a nephrologist, said “In our view, this is a significant advance for stem cell therapies because it gets around having to inject stem cells.” (Guezguez et al., 2013). He also added that identifying the hormone would be the first step toward the goal of developing a synthetic drug. Then next paragraph will be discussing the treatment of ischemic cardiomyopathy.
Ian W. Heldman, M.D., and other colleagues of the University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine conducted a study to analyze the safety of transendocardial stem cell injections with autologous mesenchymal stem cell and bone marrow mononuclear cells in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (Heldman et al., 2013). Patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy are patients whose heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body due to coronary artery disease. This disease involved the narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. An effective proregenerative treatment for ischemic cardiomyopathy would result in a major unmet need for many patients (Heldman, 2013). The unsolved...

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