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Fatal diseases have been the cause of death for a large percent of the human race. About 5.8 million Americans have heart failure, 670,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, 23.6 million have diabetes, and one million live with Parkinson’s disease (Watson, Stephanie, and Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D). Diseases such as above kill off important cells that reproduce rapidly to help the body function normally. Well, what alternatives does one have to turn to when the time clock runs out for all cells, resulting in death. Stem cell usage is a second chance given that doesn’t set death as an essential from these fatal diseases.
Currently, scientists are unsure as to how adult stem cells develop. A major advantage to using adult stem cells is that each patient?s stem cells can be extracted, grown, and then reinserted into their body. This would ensure that the immune system would not reject the new cells. One of the problems with adult stem cells is that there are a very few number of stem cells in a sample of tissue. Another problem is that scientists are unsure about the flexibility of adult stem cells.
Before more research was done on adult stem cells they were thought to have very little value in stem cell research, but due to the controversy over embryonic stem cells and the amount of money necessary for research on them, adult stem cells have been allowed more time and effort and are now 'quickly making regenerative medicine a dramatic reality.' (Healy). Adult stem cells 'can be found in small amounts in every organ in the body.' (Healy). ?They won?t be rejected and won?t cause uncontrolled cell growth, and, if effective, are therefore preferred for patient therapy.
British Medical Journal. 24. Oct. 2001. http://www.Bmj.org/cgi/content/full/318/7179/282/b Stem Cells and the Human Embryo. 24. Oct. 2001.
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