Stem Cell-Human Regeneration

 

a cell 3Stem cell research dates back to the mid 1800’s when scientists realized that cells are the building blocks of life giving rise to new cell formation. In the early 1900’s European physicians noted that blood came from a certain “stem cell.”  Doctors used bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants for specific treatments. In the last twenty years fetal nerve cells have been transplanted in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Geron Corp. scientists established a cell line of human embryonic stem cells in November, 1998. This was perceived as a medical milestone. It was the first time that a source of undifferentiated human cells had been cultured into a cell line, These cells have the potential to develop into any cell found in the human body.

 

Stem cells are “generic” and can replicate themselves exactly and indefinitely.  They can make specialized cells for various tissues in the body including: heart muscle, brain and liver tissue. Stem cells can be maintained seemingly forever. Scientists are able to develop them into specialized cells as needed. They are the body’s “master cells.” These types of cells can renew themselves endlessly. They have the ability to differentiate into a number of individualized cells such as muscles, nerves, organs, bones, blood and beyond. These properties make the stem cells quite different from the bodies other mature cells. The human bodies mature cells are permanently committed to their own personal fate.

 

For instance skin cells can only split and generate new skin cells. The ability of stem cells to become different kinds of cells is called “plasticity.” It is this ability that makes them necessary for renewing and repairing body tissue throughout one’s life.  Stem cells are formed at conception. They are then specialized to become the tissues of a growing embryo. After birth the body retains stem cell reserves in many organs. Throughout life the body taps into these reserves to replace or repair diseased or injured tissue.  These reserves are finite.  As they become depleted the body succumbs to disorders, disease and aging. Stem cell therapy has the potential to replenish our reserves to fight and correct a number of health issues.

 

The two basic types of stem cells are embryonic and adult. Embryonic are obtained from aborted fetuses or surplus fertilized eggs from in vitro fertilization. These stem cells can produce cells for almost every tissue in the body. They are used for medical and research purposes. Adult stem cells aren’t as versatile as embryonic cells for research as they are specific to certain cell types such as blood, intestines, skin and muscle. Both children and adults have adult stem cells.

 

Continued stem cell research will give a better understanding of genetics in early stages of cell development.  It will help scientists to learn why some cells develop abnormally leading to health concerns like birth defects and cancer.  Scientists will gain insights into disease prevention. Stem cells research involving the testing of drugs and medication reaction on specialized tissues will eliminate the need for testing on animals or in human testing groups. It should greatly shorten the time required to obtain accurate results.

 

Data from the Institute of  Cryobiology and Cryo-medicine in the Ukraine showed no serious adverse effects in any of the 2,925 patients given fetal cell therapy during the 1986 series. Stem cells are biological material same as with blood transfusions and organ transplants. They have the potential risk to transmit pathogens, but it is a nominal risk.  Rigorous screening tests are done on both donor and the cells to minimize risk. Reputable labs utilize testing procedures exceeding  standards set by tissue banks such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) a test  set to detect minute pathogen presence.

 

The controversy surrounding stem cell research is based  on federal control and funding of fertile egg destruction and fetus “life and death” moral issues along with safety and preservation of quality issues.  The majority of scientists fully believe stem cell therapy will revolutionize medicine. Cell therapy has the potential to cure cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and so much more and do it in the not so distant future. The hopeful promise of repairing spinal injuries and aiding paralysis victims is convincing evidence of the need for future research. The replenishing of tissue in aging organs could substantially extend the human lifespan.

 

In the future the possibility to grow organs for transplantation would eliminate the dangers of organ rejection. This radical revolutionary new approach will result in  modern medical miracles. It is now only a matter of time and money.

 

Works Cited:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem-cell_therapy