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Stem Cell Research: Similarities And Differences Between Adult And Embryonic Stem Cells.

3649 words - 15 pages

This essay deals with the different types of stem cells that exist and their different characteristics. I will also take a look at the different aspects of stem cell research, the problems, legal aspects and techniques involved.Because of their infinite versatility, embryonic stem cells provide a better foundation for research and development than adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are already roughly differentiated and require procedures to become another type of cell. Ethics is a big part of stem cell research, as cloning and destroying embryos are partly involved or connected.Although adult stem cells have shown that scientists sometimes underestimate their potential, it will still be a long time before adult cells could be used as widely as embryonic stem cells. The whole concept of stem cells is quite new, and there is still a lot to research and test before all the possibilities can be tested in a laboratory, not to mention a human body. Right now it seems as though embryonic stem cells could provide help within already a short period of time compared to adult cells, and also much more easily. Therefore embryonic stem cells would be better to use, even though research on adult stem cells should be carried on simultaneously.1. Introduction.Research on stem cells is knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells can replace damaged cells in an adult organism. In this area scientists are investigating the possibility of cell-based therapies to treat diseases.I chose this area of biology because stem cells provided an intriguing topic. The way that entire humans develop from these small boxes is fascinating and it was interesting to see photos of the different phases and learn about the steps how every human came into being. Stem cells are also a fairly recent topic, and although it was difficult to find information at times, this essay gave rise to my thoughts that it would be nice to do stem cell research myself some day. Stem cells really are the future.Stem cells are one of the most studied areas of biology today but still have many open questions. Stem cells have two important characteristics that distinguish them from other types of cells. First, they are unspecialised cells that renew themselves through cell division. The second characteristic is that under certain experimental conditions stem cells can be induced to become cells with special functions.Studying stem cells has been a great interest of scientists since 1970s when pluripotent stem cells first were discovered in mice. Mouse studies continued until 1998 when the first human pluripotent stem cells were isolated by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin and John Gearhart at the Johns Hopkins University.This investigation studies the similarities and differences of using embryonic or adult stem cells in stem cell research. The paper discusses their value in medical research and medicine, ethical questions involved and the legal...

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