Stem cell research can produce new favorable developments for medical therapies for enervating diseases and can be a new way to explore fundamental questions of biology. There are three sources of stem cells adult, fetal tissue and embryo. Stem cells are self-renewing cells that with proper growth conditions can be made to differentiate into a number of different cell types with specific biological functions. The cell is capable of regenerating an entire adult organism by itself. Research on human embryonic stem cells, however, is controversial, given the diverse views held in our society about the moral and legal status of the early embryo. The controversy has encouraged provocative and conflicting claims both inside and outside the scientific community about the biology and biomedical potential of both adult and embryonic stem cells.
The history of stem cell research dates back to the mid 1800's when scientists began to recognize that the cell was the basic building block of life and that cell produced other cells. Meanwhile European scientists realized that all blood cells came from one particular "stem cell". This occurred in the early 1900's. In 1998 researchers at the University of Wisconsin, led by James Thomson, isolated and grew stem cells from human embryos and researchers from Johns Hopkins University, led by John Gearhart, did the same with human germ cells.
Currently "bone marrow transplants" actually a transplant of stem cells and wide variety of diseases, fetal verve cells have been transplanted experimentally into the brains of people with Parkinson's disease for the past ten years. Just recently sources of cells that might be used to regenerate other organs became available.
Now stem cells hold the most promise for those diseased where cells are damaged or malfunctioning and might be replaced; for example Juvenile diabetes, stroke, spinal cord injuries and heart muscle damage following a heart attack.
There are other... [continues]
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