Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research is a new, inventive technology that will be and currently is saving lives. Stem cells have the ability to “increase understanding of how diseases occur, generate healthy cells to replace diseased cells, and test new drugs for safety and effectiveness.” (Mayo Clinic Staff). These special cells have become a new and better way of treating diseases such as; heart disease and diabetes. Scientists have discovered that if these cells are under the right conditions, the stem cells will divide. Once divided, the stem cells will form daughter cells which could become new stem cells or specialized cells. Daughter cells that ...view middle of the document...
The use of stem cells in the 21st century have skyrocketed, and scientists are rapidly revealing stem cells’ ability to cure diseases. Stem cells can be used in numerous way to treat diseases because of their unique ability to divide into more specific cells. For example, when a new stem cell is created it eventually divides, and its daughter cells become brain cells. These brain cells can then be implanted into the body and the diseased cells can be rid of. This process has been used to cure diseases such as leukemia, heart disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), sickle cell anemia, and many more.
Recently, researchers completed an experiment with paralyzed mice that were genetically engineered to have an MS-like condition. (Kwan) These researchers were studying stem cell rejection in the mice, however, the researchers discovered that two weeks after injecting “human neural stem cells… the mice had regained their ability to walk.” (Kwan) The researchers have discovered that the stem cells repressed the disease from preventing and regenerated myelin and repaired damage done by the disease. This technology is the future of the medical industry; and the research is now in progress for clinical studies. A major problem with stem cell use is the possibility of rejection by the immune system. This would cause the transplant to be completely useless and the disease to continue harming the body. One of the ways to fix this is using induced pluripotent stem cells which will help the development of patient-specific pluripotent stem cell lines. These cell lines can then be developed into the correct cell type leading to the absence of problems from rejection and immunosuppression. Another needed addition to the use of stem cells is a system for delivering cells to the correct part of the body.
Human stem cells can be used to test new drugs to prevent or control diseases. “Cancer cell lines, for example, are used to screen potential anti-tumor drugs.”(National Institute of Health) The use of stem cells in drug testing is a game changer because the cost is lowered and dangerous side effects are discovered.
Researchers are looking into the countless number of ways that stem cells can be beneficial. Stem cells are widely known for their potential to treat numerous medical problems such as; cardiovascular diseases, type 1 diabetes, pulmonary diseases, eye diseases, strokes, burns, spinal cord injury, and the list goes on. Modern medicine today allows doctors to perform transplant surgeries on a person with a failing organ or tissue. Although, the number of people that need an organ or tissue is far greater than the number available. Stem cells can make it possible, so that a person will not need to replace a full organ or tissue. Instead we may be able to use healthy stem cells and transplant them into the damaged portion of the organ or tissue.
“For example, it may become possible to generate healthy heart muscle cells in the laboratory and...