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Stem Cells Research: Revolutionizing The Medical Field

2272 words - 9 pages

“Now science has presented us with a hope called stem research, which may provide our scientists with many answers that have for so long been beyond our grasp.” The words of former first lady Nancy Reagan unerringly illustrate the potential of stem cell research throughout the world. Throughout the existence of the human race, we have constantly uncovered the unknown. Learning everything there is to know about ourselves has led to a huge library of useful knowledge that continues to grow. By analyzing the human body, we have been able cure many injuries and illnesses, but not all of them. Research on stem cells is relatively new, with less than fifty years of study. Stem cells though, could be the answer in curing all disease and injury. Not all stem cells are the same, but the potential each cell has is equal to life itself. Whether it is research with embryonic or somatic stem cells, the possible advances could revolutionize the entire medical field as we know it. Even with the future looking optimistic, stem cell research has many risks involved, not to mention a mass of controversy around the world.
Stem cells are the foundation for every organ and tissue in a living organism’s body. They were given the name “stem cell”, because they are what all cells stem from. Stem cells are unlike any other cells because of their capabilities. Not only are they capable of self-renewal, stem cells are also able to differentiate into any cell of the body. Stem cells are unspecialized, and they are capable of renewing themselves through cell division. Life itself begins from stem cells, and mature tissues are constantly being repaired by them. Stem cells naturally begin in the embryo as a pool of cells called a blastocyst. At this point, the embryo is only three to five days old, and from here, the organism and its entirety begin to form from the blastocyst. These stem cells are known as embryonic stem cells. Once fully grown and born, the organism continues to use a more specialized type of stem cell known as somatic, or adult, stem cells. The division of these more mature stem cells can continue for many years during the life of the organism through repair and regeneration.
Somatic, or adult, stem cells are very tissue and organ specific in their regeneration. They can only form the cells from the tissue which they are derived. Somatic stem cells are found in a variety of tissues in adults, children, and fetuses. These tissues include cells within the blood, liver, intestine, brain, and skin. Although these tissues are very vital to functions, they still need constantly repaired and maintained by somatic stem cells. Adult stem cells are considered “multipotent”, because they generate multiple, organ-specific types of cells. One of the most commonly known somatic stem cells are found in bone marrow. Bone marrow helps reproduce new blood to replace lost or dying cells. The adult stem cells found in bone marrow are...

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