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Stem Cell Research: Is It The Future Answer For Ailments?

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Stem-Cells | Submitted: 2010-05-18 21:16:56
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Article Summary: "Stem cells can divide and differentiate into any type of specialised tissue or organ. this article talks about the Stem cell therapy and future challenges..."


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Introduction:

Stem cells are specific type of cells which have the ability to divide and differentiate into any type of specialised tissue or organ. Stem cells under specific physiological condition gets signal to differentiate into specific type of cells.

Mainly there are two types
1) Embryonic stem cell
2) Adult stem cell

Embryonic stem cell

Stem cells extracted from 2-5 day old embryo are known as early embryonic stem cell. Stem cells extracted from human embryo are known as Human Embryonic Stem cell. They are totipotent stem cells. That is they have got the capacity to differentiate into any kind of cell or organ.

Embryonic stem cells extracted from Blastocyst are known as Blastocyst Embryonic Stem Cell. Embryonic stem cells extracted from foetus are known as Fetal Stem cell.

Both Embryonic and Fetal stem cells are pluripotent. That is they have got the capacity to become almost any kind of cell in the body.

Stem cells extracted from Umbilical Cord of a Baby are known as Umbelical cord stem cells and they are multipotent stem cells.

Adult stem cell

These stem cells are present in already developed organ or tissue of a human being so the same.

Usually Adult stem cells are present in Brain, Bone Marrow, Blood cells, and Muscle cell. They help in normal maintenance of the tissue. Adult stem cells are Multipotent that is they have got the ability to differentiate into limited type of specialized cells.
Current Uses of Stem Cell

1) Embryonic stem cells are used to study Human developmental biology
2) Genes activation or inactivation process are being studied
3) To study the Genes responsible for birth defects
4) New drug testing, drug efficacy all are being studied using Stem Cell.

STEM CELL THERAPY:

Today:
1. Stem cell therapy is used to treat Lung Injury.
2. Stem cell therapy is used to treat Blood disorders like leukaemia by transplanting Bone Marrow Stem Cells.
3. Stem cell therapy is used to treat heart failure.
4. Recently Stem Cell transplant is used to treat sickle-cell anaemia
5. Stem Cell Transplant used to treat Tuberculosis damaged wind pipe in Colombian Women.

Future Challenges:

1. Creating Embryonic Stem Cell identical to the Patient via therapeutic cloning and using these cells to treat them will reduce immunological rejection
2. Cure for Diabetes
3. Treatment for Heart disorders
4. To treat Burns
5. To treat spinal cord injuries.
6. To treat neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease

Ethical Point:

Human right activist ban stem cell research or embryonic stem cell research saying an embryo has got the "right to live"

But point is scientists use extra embryos produced in In-vitro fertilization centre to do embryonic stem cell research. If these embryos are not used in research they will be discarded into the trash bin.

• Instead of wasting these embryos they can be utilized for better understanding of Genes, how they differentiate and express
• This research in turn can be utilized to improve quality of life of a Patient.
• According to me already born human being has got more value for his/her life than unborn or in- vitro produced extra unwanted embryo.

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