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Stem Cell Rubric - Research Paper Example

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Because of their unique properties, much attention has been dedicated to the study of stem cells. In 1998, scientists had found a way to obtain and grow embryonic stem cells from the products of in vitro fertilization. Because stem cells are important especially among developing embryos, harvesting stem cells from them unavoidably cause their unviability…
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Download file to see previous pages However, there are certain advantages in using embryonic stem cells (ESC) that the others still cannot provide. Unlike ESC that are known to come from pre-implanted embryos, the source of ASC is still to be discovered. By some reason still unknown to researchers, ESC proliferate and remain undifferentiated for a year longer than ASC do. In addition, ESC have the potential to differentiate into all cell types of the body, while ASC can only differentiate into the cell types of its tissue of origin. Also, it is much easier to increase the number of ESC than that of ASC (National Institutes of Health, 2009). For example, if it is hematopoietic ASC, then it can only be induced to form blood cells. However, despite the seemingly more advantageous ESC, ASC are believed to induce less graft transplantation reaction, as it can be derived from the patients themselves (National Institutes of Health, 2009). Benefits of Stem Cell Research Arguably, the most important benefit of stem cell research is the use of these cells in stem cell transplantation therapy. In fact, for 40 years already, hematopoietic or blood-forming ASC from bone marrow have been used in transplants to cure health conditions such as leukemia (National Institutes of Health, 2009). ...
It is important to develop therapies for these illnesses, especially cancer and cardiovascular diseases, as these occupy the top of the list of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Aside from that, further stem cell research (SCR) paves the way for more discoveries, such as the regulating factors behind stem cell proliferation and self-renewal. These factors, in the future, may be used in the regeneration of destroyed tissues, such as that in myocardial infarction, one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. In addition, these pluripotent cells can provide a better observation of human development from embryo to infancy. This then may lead to researches on the abnormal cellular development, as seen in physical birth defects, genetic abnormalities and cancer. Large amount of cells grown in vivo from stem cells may also be used in easier and safer testing of drug safety and effectiveness (Johnson and Williams, 2006). Disadvantages of Stem Cell Research Which Lives to Save Despite the many scientific advancements contributed by stem cell research, many still argue against it. One argument reasons that the fertilized eggs used in SCR are already alive, and thus it is not right to take someone else’s life, no matter for what purpose. Partly causing such conflict stems from the fact that until now, there is no specific age of gestation at which life has been pinpointed to start at. The Health Risk of Stem Cell Therapy Another argument against SCR claims that the chemical and biological factors used to manipulate the cells in vivo can cause adverse effects once the resulting specialized cells from them are transplanted to humans for therapy. For example, viruses from the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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