May 8, 2010
Stem Cell Research
When exploring stem cell research, one must know what a stem cell actually is. These kinds of cells are very early on cells that can develop into almost all other types of cell and tissue. Stem cells are found throughout the human body, but are mostly found in bone marrow, in blood that circulates the body, and in the umbilical cord. The stem cells found in cord blood are particularly versatile. Because they're brand new, they're also at their most crucial. Also, the collection of umbilical cord stem cells is Vatican-approved and raises no ethical or political issues. Although, a lot of the controversy of stem cell research comes from the fact that these cells can be extracted from the embryo. The embryos are four to five days old and has about 150 cells.
The most important information in this type of research, though, is what the stem cells can do. Embryonic stem cells, for example, can divide into more stem cells, or they can specialize and become any type of body cell. Because of this immense versatility, embryonic stem cells have the highest prospective for use to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs in people. Similarly, Stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral blood or cord blood are mainly used in transplantations to treat blood disorders. These donated cells are injected into the patient and move through the blood stream where they grow and help the body's ability to produce new blood cells. Research is currently progressing fast, and transplants of one’s own stem cells may soon offer many more treatments to conditions and illnesses. For example, by watching stem cells mature into cells that eventually become bones, heart muscle, nerve cells and other organs and tissue, researchers may better understand how a range of diseases and conditions develop. Also, stem cells show importance in testing the safety and effectiveness of investigational drugs on the stem cells. This keeps... [continues]
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