- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Stem Cell Research

Essay by   •  October 31, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,112 Words (5 Pages)  •  4,448 Views

Essay Preview: Stem Cell Research

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

"Embryonic stem cells...are in effect, a human self-repair kit," (Christopher Reeve, activist - Larry King show). For the advancement of science, stem cells are infinitely valuable, especially when considering all the potential applications in the field of medicine. Stem cells usage is a very controversial topic, because most people think of abortions, cloning, and other negative topics when they here the term stem cells. However I think those thoughts are because they don't understand what a stem cell is, where it comes from, or its monumental possibilities that could greatly benefit the medical field.

There are already demonstrations of Stem cells possibilities, because treatment with stem cells has already begun. They have been taken from umbilical cords and become healthy red cells used to cure sickle-cell anemia. Stem cell therapy is also being used against certain types of cancer. Stem Cells are valuable due to the fact that they are non-designated and they have the ability to divide and multiply indefinitely. Thus, theoretically stem cells could fix and even replace any damaged or lost specific cells within a body. They are easily found in early embryos, but their numbers variety for development seem to become less in the adult stem cells. The information above is only what we know right now, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. If we know stem cells can already contribute to helping cancer, sickle-cell anemia, and repairing/replacing cells, then obviously the more we know, the more beneficial the use of stem cells would become.

These helpful stem cells come from three types of cells, based upon their potential developmental capability. Though each of the types are obtained differently, they can complete their own set of useful functions. These are the Tortipotent, Pluripotent, and Multipotent stem cells.

The Tortipotent stem cells are found when the egg is fertilized/conceived. This type isn't specialized, so can form many different tissues and cells. These are probably the most helpful, because they are immortal stem cells that can even create placenta and other tissues required in fetal development (Science Center, worksheet). This means that they are super stem cells and can create more than any other type.

Second, the Pluripotent cells can be found in the inner layers of cells in a growing embryo or from a terminated embryo. These can form any organ or tissue, except for placenta and those used for fetal development, and they could easily be obtained through fertility clinics. Pluripotent cells could help with things like re-growing a kidney or leg ligament, if yours has been damaged.

Pluripotent stem cells can create the possibility for a renewable source of replacement tissues and cells, which means a large number of diseases could be cured and treated. This includes debilitating diseases, Parkinson, Alzheimer, Leukemia, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophies, retinal degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain repair, skin for burn victims, and maybe even cancer and diabetes (

Finally Multipotent cells can be found in children and adults, in blood, bones, and etc. They only have specific functions, and can no longer do anything besides those functions. However, Multipotent cells are still useful in replacing or replenishing any damage cells that are similar to the specialized type, which means less people waiting on organ donors. That would be a tremendous accomplishment, because thousands of people die each while waiting for an organ transplant. (MRC).

When scientists completely learn how stem cells work, they could be able to create tissues needed to treat patients with various types of sickness and disease. For example, Birth defects and cancer arise do to abnormal cell specialization and cell division. If scientists were to understand how to manipulate these cells, then they can effectively prevent problems like birth defects and cancer before they ever arise. This helps to show that once stem cell lines can be created, the variety of possibilities will be almost endless.

Stem cell research would be able to speed up drug testing, and practically eliminate animal testing. If a line of human stem cells was created for new drugs to be tested on, then the negative and positive effects on the stem cell tissue can be assessed, before the drug is ever used on an animal or a human. Also testing



Download as:   txt (7 Kb)   pdf (98.4 Kb)   docx (11.7 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on