Stem Cell Research Homework
Fact Finding Worksheet
Directions: Use your textbooks, the library and Internet resources to learn as much as you can about stem cell research and current stem cell based therapies. When answering the questions, be sure to document your information sources like all good scientists do. Use additional paper if you run out of space for answering a specific question. Be prepared to share what you have learned with your classmates. All group members must complete their own copy of the worksheet.
1. What is the definition of a stem cell?
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism which is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation.
2. What is the difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells?
Embryonic stem cells can become all cell types of the body because they are pluripotent. Adult stem cells are thought to be limited to differentiating into different cell types of their tissue of origin. Embryonic stem cells can be grown relatively easily in culture.
Source: Class notes
3. What parts of the human body contain stem cells?
Stem cells can be found in the skin, bone marrow, brain, blood vessels, liver, and skeletal muscles.
Source: Class notes
4. In what ways might the use of embryonic stem cells are better than the use of adult stem cells?
Both lines of stem cells have an enormous therapeutic potential, adult stem cells avoid the ethical issues raised by embryonic stem cell research. Therefore, many stem cell therapies are currently being tested using adult stem cells. Additionally, adult stem cells may help to avoid issues of immune rejection in certain situations.
5. In what ways might the use of adult stem cells be better than the use of embryonic stem cells?
Newer studies suggest that adult stem cells have...
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