Stem cell research
Topics: Stem cell / Pages: 9 (2037 words) / Published: Mar 28th, 2014

Human stem cell research is a novel technology that will benefit society as a whole. This bold statement represents a current debate high on the ethical and political agendas across the globe. Although the potential benefits of using human stem cells in the treatment of diseases are vast and clear, their use remains controversial due to the public perception of their source and methods of extraction. However, it is undeniable stem cell research is key in the treatment and reversal of a range of medical diseases from Parkinson’s disease to diabetes. Second, stem cell research and therapy will potentially save many lives of patients waiting or enduring an organ transplant, as it reduces transplant risks and eliminates many medical resource issues. Lastly, stem cell research aids in the pharmaceutical industry, allowing for drug trials to be streamlined and reduce the use of animals for drug testing. Thus, it is clear that human stem cell research is crucial in the efforts to move medical and pharmaceutical science forward.
Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can distinguish into more specific cells. These cells are both malleable and regenerative as they can metastasize to produce more stem cells which are crucial to develop organisms (Stem Cell Network, 2009). There are two general types of stem cells in mammals known as embryonic stem cells (ES cells), which are disjointed from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells which are found in a variety of tissue (Stem Cell Network, 2009). Stem cells are available in all parts of the human body; however, their potency is much higher in a fetus than in an adult body, as ES cells are totipotent within the first couple of cell divisions after fertilization– meaning they can be used to differentiate into all cell types within the adult body plus extraembryonic or placental cells. ES cells are also considered pluripotent because they have the capabilities of self-renewal and can



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