The Issue Of Stem Cell

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Introduction The term stem cell is a broad term that when spoken often comes along with positive language such as untapped potential, therapeutic treatment, and self-revival. However, this same term when spoken also comes along with alarming language such as ethically questionable, widely unproven, and even in-humane. By definition, “stem cells are characterized by their ability to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple different cell types and tissues” (Koch, Berg, and Betts, 155). Stem cells are undeveloped cells that are able to, once injected into the afflicted organ, tissue, or bone, self-renew into the cells that belong to that bodily region. This procedure holds promise for the cure of many medical issues. Stem cells come in many different types, and with each type there are certain limitations. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning that they are able to develop into any type of cell required by a developing embryo, including muscle, skin, bone, blood, nervous system, and other organs (Pincott, and Burch, 161). These types of stem cells are held in especially high esteem because of their extreme diversity. However, these stem cells come at a high price. A second source of stem cells is placental and umbilical cord stem cells that can differentiate into all types of blood cells. Another type of stem cells is induced pluripotent stem cells. These are old stem cells that are artificially modified into their original pluripotent state similar to that of embryonic stem cells. The last sources of stem cells discussed in this paper are adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are not very diverse, and can only be useful when injected into the same bodily region they were harvested from. Stem cells hold high regards in t... ... middle of paper ... ...ise for using stem cells as a therapeutic treatment for ASD (Ardhanareeswaran, Coppola, and Vaccarino, 8). Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the final disease that stem cells have a potential to help cure mentioned in this paper. According to Emma Sian and her team from Future Cardiology, researched the effects stem cells would have in the treatment of CHD. “Congenital heart defects happen due to defects in the development of the fetal heart, which causes structural derangement of the heart” (Pincott and Burch, 161). Heart defects can be detected pre-birth, however, so it is feasible that stem cells can be injected into the developing fetus to stimulate growth of underdeveloped organs. Since induced pluripotent cells can develop into all the cell types required by a developing embryo, it’s a real possibility that this treatment could help CHD at the embryonic stage.
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