Stem cell essay…10points!?

I need to write a stem cell essay, and I need some ideas…

9 Answers

  • Stem cells are pluripotent cells present in all living organisms. These cells can differentiate into any type of cell, including nerves and cardiac muscle. The scientific community is very excited about the possibility of these undifferentiated cells being used to treat conditions such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes, and cancer. Despite the enormous potential for medical advancements, controversy surrounds the sources and methods of acquiring stem cells and the possible improper uses of the knowledge gained from the experimentation with these cells. It is imperative that science pursue the needed research while addressing any ethical issues. Stem cells can be obtained from three different sources. The first and most controversial source is an embryonic cell that comes from a three to five day old blastocyst, which is a ball of undifferentiated cells that forms after an ovum is fertilised. These are often created by in vitro fertilisation for implantation in infertile woman or gestational carriers in order for these women to become pregnant. Some of the “extra” unused blastocysts are frozen for possible future use. These blastocysts and aborted foetuses have been used to create embryonic stem cell lines. The second very rich source of stem cells is the umbilical cord. Blood cells from the cord blood of a newborn infant can be used immediately or frozen for later use by that infant, close relative, or unrelated recipient. The third and most recently discovered source is adult stem cells. Adult bone marrow or blood cells can be artificially induced back into unprogrammed cells and then can be used as stem cells to form other somatic cell lines, such as nerves and muscle cells. The origin of the first argument is the source and process for producing some stem cells, specifically embryonic stem cells. Often, people jump to the conclusion that all stem cells are derived from embryos meaning that a human life must be sacrificed in order to create a stem cell line. Potentially, one life could save millions of people from illnesses and deaths. Another controversy around stem cell use is the movement to create siblings who can serve as identical-matched donors. Umbilical cord blood is the typical tissue used in these situations, but occasionally supplemental bone marrow must be used. The use of in vitro fertilisation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis has allowed parents to create compatible foetuses who do not have the sibling’s genetic disease. Some people have raised moral and religious objections to creating a horde of embryos that will just get discarded without a thought if they do not meet the right criteria to help the sick sibling. Should a family create a child just to help a sibling, or should they have a baby because the new child would also be special to them? The use of umbilical blood cells was not discouraged as long as the newborn infant was not placed at physical risk during delivery. The ongoing controversy over discarding unmatched embryos may be resolved by using the newly discovered adult stem cells. The discovery of adult stem cells has excited the scientific community, but these cells still have their problems. An already differentiated body cell must be genetically reprogrammed back into an unprogrammed pluripotent cell that looks like an early embryo. The advantage is that an embryo does not have to be created, but the disadvantage is that cancer-causing oncogenes and retroviruses must be used to “unprogram” the adult cells. This could lead to an increased risk of cancer in already compromised patients. Scientists working in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine hope to someday use the cells from the intended recipient to create a new custom designed cell type or even a perfectly matched organ to replace damaged tissue. With new knowledge comes a new concern about the misuse of this information. There are growing fears that stems cells would be used not only to clone new organs but could be used to clone new preferred populations. Some are concerned about the unintended consequences of new cancers or illnesses. Others argue that we should not mess with human life, and we should not be trying to play God. The potential social and economic benefits of the many that could be saved far outweigh the detriments of loss of life or limited funding. Adult and umbilical cells are emerging as the more advantageous sources with the fewest ethical controversies. Umbilical cells would be even more acceptable if genetic matches could be determined before an ovum is fertilised and an embryo is formed. That way an innocent life would not need to be sacrificed. It is essential that scientists pursue stem cell research while valuing all life.

  • Stem Cell Research Essay

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    Stem cell essay…10points!?

    I need to write a stem cell essay, and I need some ideas…


    Hiya Charli, The first question we were asked when James was diagnosed with leukaemia was ‘does he have any siblings’. The question was asked as he needed a BMT and a sibling match is the best match. He didn’t have any siblings but I was pregnant with Erin at the time so her cord blood was harvested and stored. Unfortunately James was too sick to receive the stem cells (they were a 100% match) and he died when she was 4 weeks old. When I was pregnant with Aidan we saw a geneticist and paediatrician who agreed to collecting and storing his cord blood. I had a planned delivery to enable this to happen and they are being stored indefinitely in the event he ever needs them. I think the only reason it is not more common is plain and simple — cost. In our case it was agreed to as I have (and James inherited it) a genetic disorder that led to his leukaemia. This means the government is paying for it. For most people this would not be an option.

  • Stem cell therapies used for regrowth of cartilage in knees and is harvested from your own body or close family member sister brother mom threw bone marrow harvesting then lab grow your stem cells and since they are stem cells they will decide what to be when re entering your body. micro fracture and no walking for minimum of 6 weeks. also umbilical cord blood that you can donate to your own child and in put into cryogenic freeze until God forbid it is needed. can be used for leukemia and lymphoma a traumatic injury illness etc. it is some pretty AWESOME stuff the read. SUPER FUN!

  • Write about the use of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic cloning…you could talk about the history of it’s development, the actual process, possible benefits, and ethical issues.

  • I am answerin’ you Q but y’ll have to choose mine as best ’cause it takes so much time to type that makes me angry, but if i get points that’ll be my reward.

    Embryonic stem cells are the basic building blocks for some 260 types of cells in the body and can become anything: heart, muscle, brain, skin, blood. Researchers hope that by guiding stem cells in the laboratory into specific cell types. The primary clinical source is the aborted fetus and unused embryos currently housed in frozen storage at IVF facilities. A developed stem cell line comes from a single embryo, becoming a colony of cells that reproduces indefinitely.

    There are two main types of stem cells: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.

    In bodily tissues like bone marrow and muscle tissue, adult stem cells generate replacements for bone and muscle cells that are lost through injury, disease or normal wear and tear.

    Adult stem cells usually develop into the same type of cell as the tissue they reside in. An adult stem cell forming in muscle tissue, for example, normally gives rise to muscle cells.

    Embryonic stem cells, however, are like “starter cells” that can be coaxed into becoming a variety of other types of cells.

    By turning into bone cells, nerve cells and other types of cells, embryonic stem cells develop into the specialized cells that create bone, nerve and other tissues in the human body.

    Scientists believe that because embryonic stem cells develop into a range of other types of cells, they may be used in the near future to treat a wide range of diseases and injuries.

    A brief list of the ailments that embryonic stem cells may someday be used to treat include Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, skin burns, arthritis, birth defects, diabetes and heart disease.

    Human stem cells can also be used to test new drugs and in medical treatments that now require organ donors. The need for organ donors currently out weighs the available supply.

    Embryonic stem cells renew themselves through cell division for long periods of time, unlike specialized cells such as nerve cells or blood cells. Because embryonic stem cells proliferate easily, they can offer a virtually unlimited source of cells needed in medical research.

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