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A very important breakthrough came two years ago with the discovery that adult multipotent adult stem cells can be induced, by the addition of transcription factors, to convert into pluripotent cells (Takahashi, Tanabe and Ohnuki). These cells came to be known as induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.
Research of iPS cell technology must be promoted because of the many advantages of using iPS cells compared to the other stem cell types. The first major advantage is the use of somatic tissues instead of embryos as sources. Various types of somatic tissues can be used as sources of iPS cells for the repair of damaged tissues (Yu, Vodyanik and Smuga-Otto). Patient-derived somatic cells can produce patient-specific iPS cells that contain the patient’s genetic information. When these iPS cells are used in transplantation to replace diseased cells, the risk for rejection is reduced. Immune rejection is a problem in the use of embryonic stem cells (de Wert and Mummery). Another potential application is to use the iPS cells for constructing specific disease models and screening for effective drugs (Yamanaka). The potential therefore is high for healing degenerative and chronic diseases like cystic fibrosis, chronic heart problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many more (Yamanaka).
The advantage of using somatic cells as sources for iPS cells leads to another advantage, which is the removal of the major ethical and moral issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells. Ethical and moral issues have hounded stem cell research since its potential applications were discovered, most concerning the use of 4-5 day old embryos as sources of embryonic stem cells. Since the embryos die upon the isolation of stem cells, the main ethical questions centered on life and its beginnings. Other issues were on obtaining stem cells from pre-implantation embryos, and if this is the case,
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The pluripotent stem cells also referred as embryonic cells have the ability to differentiate into every cell of the body while the multipotent (adult) stem cells can only differentiate into multiple cells but not all cell lineages in the body. Research on stem cells spans a broad range of scientific and medical fields.
There are three main types of stem cells: embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells; of which, embryonic stem cells are found in early embryos and can have the potential of developing into any cell in the body. Adult stems are found in populations around the body after birth such as in the bone marrow and can develop into a limited range of cells, while induced pluripotent stem cells are grown in the laboratory and can be modified to be more specialized.
Interestingly, adult individuals retain some pluripotent cells, from which cells for replacement of damaged tissues can be derived. Thus, fibroblasts, muscles, red blood cells, or nerve cells can stem from a pluripotent stem cell upon initiation of specific physiologic conditions (National Institutes of Health, 2009).
The stem cells in mammals can be categorized into two main types i.e., the adult stem cells or the embryonic stem cells (Hook, 2011). The embryonic stem cells are isolated from the blastocysts inner cellular mass while the adult stem cells are located in several tissues where they function as a fixing system for the entire body, refilling adult tissues.
Science and technology has developed so much that in the recent years scientists hope to use these cells to develop new tissues, treatments and potentially even organs for transplanting into a patient. First and foremost argument made by the scientific community is that human stem cell research is said to promise new life changing treatments and possible cures for many devastating diseases and injuries, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, burns and spinal cord injuries (Young 2-16).
which give rise to different cell types but not a whole organism; and multipotent stem cells, being much more differentiated cells, can give rise to a limited number of multiple tissue types (Australian Academy of Science, 2001). The haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) represent
l is a type of cell that has the ability to divide or multiply indefinitely in culture and become any one of more than 200 different types of tissue cells in the body, such as muscle cells, blood cells, nerve cells and even new teeth. In the recent researches scientists hope to
The author highlights that there are some challenges to overcome in stem cell therapy and there are many opponents of this practice. However, as compared to other alternatives such as gene therapy and deep brain stimulation, the evidence from research indicates that stem cell therapy is the best future treatment approach for these conditions.
Moreover, I will show the flaws in the arguments of those opposing use of stem cell. The county will fall behind that are utilizing this development if there is no logical conclusion to this important issue.
The human body has more than 200 different types of cells.
Consequently, when a stem cell divides, it has the capacity of becoming a different type cell. For example, it can became a brain cell, muscle cell or remain as a stem cell.
Stem cell is different from other cells in the
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