The Study of Stem Cells

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In February 1961 Dr. James Till, a Biophysicist, and Ernest McCulloch, a Hematologist, proved that stem cells exist. Stem cells are considered important by many scientists for their trait of being able to adjust and develop into any kind of tissue. The study of stem cells has been mainly the interest of Biologist, however, Chemists have also had an interest in the advancement of stem cells. Stem cells, as stated previously, are cells that have the potential to develop into any kind of tissue. In the body they serve as a repair system, continually dividing without limit to repair damaged tissues. As they divide the cells can either continue to be stem cells or convert into a specialized type of cell, such as, a red blood cell, a muscle cell, a brain cell, etc. This ability to transform or morph into a new cell is what has gained the interest of Chemists and Chemical Engineers alike. As research develops, their goal is to learn as much as possible about one of the tiniest pieces of the puzzle that is stem cells, the molecule. As says Sheng Ding, a chemist at Scripps Research Institute, "We think if you understand what the signals are that control stem cell fate--and we know there are stem cells reserved in pretty much all the tissues in adults--we can possibly develop small-molecule therapeutics or other types of therapeutics that stimulate in vivo regeneration. That [for us] would be the ultimate goal of stem cell research. We think those therapeutics will be the future of regenerative medicine, not just the stem cell" (Dalton). As Ding mentioned before, medical application is a major focus for the information gathered from stem cell research. One example is given on the National Institutes of Health’s page on stem cells, “Stem ... ... middle of paper ... ...chnology was available to do so. Post commented, “to improve it, it will take us probably 10 to 20 years to get it to supermarkets.” It is difficult to say how stem cells have affected our lives, considering the fact that the stem cell research field is just now getting onto its feet. However one could predict that with our current rate of advancement, more and more chemists and biologists will start to become involved with this research. One could hope that more chemists would gain an interest in the field, considering that one of the most important parts of the research is out knowledge and control of certain molecules, we can also predict advancements in the medical and pharmaceutical fields with our advancements, and finally with the advancements in this stem cell created food, we could hope to find ways to decrease the hunger and food deprivation in the world
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