Stem Cells: The Building Block Of Life

Decent Essays
The cell is the building block of life. The earliest form of these organisms are called stem cells, which can give rise to potentially any kind of cell. The possibilities of these revolutionary cells are vast, and are currently being applied in many scientific fields, one being the medical field. Stem cell scientists study a four to five day old organism, a ball of one hundred and twenty cells, which has the potential to give rise to a human being. Many think that the protection of human life should be extended to these cells. However, because of its known probability of saving millions, stem cell research should be continued because embryonic stem cells have shown strong evidence to treating many debilitating diseases since they were discovered, …show more content…
In 1981, “Martin Evans of Cardiff University, UK, then at the University of Cambridge, is [was] first to identify embryonic stem cells - in mice” (“Stem Cell Timeline: The history of a medical sensation”). The cloning of Dolly, a Finn Dorset sheep, proved that cloning of mammals was possible when using a procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Less than a decade later, a great breakthrough occurred when James Thomson with a group of scientists found the exact mixture and the right technique to withdraw stem cells from an embryo while keeping them viable. “By using the SNCT procedure to produce human embryos genetically matched to patients and using the techniques developed by Thomson to grow human embryonic stem cells, scientists hope one day to be able to replace or regenerate failing human cells and tissues without complication of tissue rejection” (Langwith 17). Thomson’s work laid a foundation for stem cell therapy, where healthy cells will replace diseased or dysfunctional cells. These cells will attack the root of the illness rather prescribing the current treatment method, which tends to the symptoms. The cells in this area of study are able to live independently under controlled conditions or they can reproduce in the special solutions of petri dishes and test tubes. In these manipulated …show more content…
Research has also shown that blindness due to the retina could be cured by replacing its cells. While many of the cures to these diseases are experimental, there are some current examples of stem cell therapy in practice today. Harvesting the stem cells from a donor 's bone marrow is known as bone marrow transplants. It has been used on patients suffering from leukemia and other cancers. This kind of therapy has seen significant results in sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder (Allman 25). Through experiments, the grafting of skin cells is shown to repair the skin of burn victims, while also showing promise in growing corneas for the blind. Pancreatic cells can be used to grow a completely new liver for diabetics, helping them a way to normally produce insulin. It is even possible that it might lengthen a human’s average lifespan, since aged or dying organs can be replaced. These early results have raised the hopes of many scientists of prospective cures, but the main goal remains for these cells to adjust to an individual’s immune system and begin to function effectively in a patient. However, cell therapy requires painstaking research, and many difficulties are present, mainly the struggle in identifying stem cells once in the body, the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The cells could help us cure the incurable and maybe other impossible ideas. There are different kind of stem cells to research, (Cell Specialization and Development, Medical Drug Testing, Transplantation and cloning, Another type of research is for use in cell therapy to treat Parkinson disease and other forms of neurodegeneration of muscle tissue or traumatic damage to the central nervous system, these studies could help doctors cure and treat the…

    • 1489 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Stem cells are very useful and have the potential of saving countless lives. They have the capacity to treat many illnesses and have the ability to form badly needed body parts (Kilner). If a patient would need a new pancreas, for example, then it could be cloned from the existing pancreas tissue (“Cloning). This method is safer than traditional organ transplants because the organ shares the patient’s…

    • 1804 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Stem cells can be used to treat diseases by replacing damaged cells with healthy, unspecialized ones. They can be used in laboratories to test new drugs that could greatly progress scientific research. Last, stem cells are easily available to scientists because they can be derived from aborted fetuses. The use of stem cells derived from aborted fetuses has caused much controversy in modern society because of ethical reasons, based on uncertainty and personal rights. Overall, utilizing stem cells for scientific research is extremely beneficial to modern society because it enhances and progresses scientific research and drug…

    • 1466 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Stem cells are a humane way to save a life. This is based on some ones view on where life begins, should you take a life to save another and does this put a limited amount of gods power into human hands; essentially they could give someone eternal life if we sometime in the future understand them better. “the goal of replacing dying cells in Parkinson’s disease with stem cells is now brought a step closer to the clinic” (Carson, Christian T). That’s the amazing feat of stem cells; they can be used to cure certain diseases, grow new organs for transplants and are the building blocks to all living organisms. If science can find a way to harness the power of stem cells we could potentially cure many diseases that we currently have no fix for just a way to prolong a person’s life with the disease.…

    • 1902 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Heterogeneity Of Cancer

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages

    With the developed technology and the phylogenetic tree method, scientists are now able to investigate genes and cells individually to distinguish whether precancerous cells would become invasive cancer cells or not. Like general evolutionary biology notion, they find out cancer cells are also diverse genetically and more likely to survive in the changing environment. Some certain cancer cells may be empowered and adapt. So, they conclude even genetically diverse precancerous cells should be treated because they might hide their ability to spread. It was interesting that there is precancerous cells which does not spread around the body tissues but may become invasive.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    There has recently been a discovery that using therapeutic cloning is possible to cure a genetic disease, at least in mice (Savulescu, 2007). Taking cells from the mouse with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the cells were cloned, produced embryonic stem cells, and then reintroduced into the mouse, curing the disease (Savulescu, 2007). With this revelation, therapeutic cloning has become important for three…

    • 1195 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Medical Stem Cell Usage Stem cell research and therapies have the ability to perform medical miracles. There are ethical and legal justification concerns surrounding the topic that are holding back huge advances in therapeutic studies and cures to diseases. Lifting certain restrictions on stem cell therapies and research could provide new ways and opportunities to save lives. Stem cell research should be continued further and given more legal wiggle room due to it’s enormous medical contributions. To date, embryonic stem cell research uses the cells from leftover in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos to cure diseases.…

    • 1389 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gene Therapy & Cancer Cells Gene therapy is often defined as a treatment that uses genes to cure or prevent diseases. Genes, DNA, and protein are all involved with each other, therefore, in many immune diseases, if one fails your whole immune system could eventually fail. This treatment is relatively new; hence it is still a pretty risky experimentation since it involves getting genes into cancer cells. Gene Therapy is often involved in serious cancer cell treatments; its main purpose is to try to trick the immune system into believing that the cancer cells are foreign. This type of therapy is only used in certain conditions such as if there is not another option.…

    • 1271 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ddp Chemotherapy

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The wide field of biochemistry includes exploration in the use of gene therapy for the treatment of cancers such as lung cancer. Though gene therapy is still in early stages of development, many researchers have concluded that gene therapy in therapeutic cancer treatment seems to be very effective and efficient. Gene therapy is the replacement of defective genes to enable the production of normally functioning genes. This replacement of genes is an adolescent and risky procedure and is often used as a “last-resort” treatment (Hoyle, 2012). Often, the government agencies that monitor the trials only grant gene therapy to diseases that affect more than one percent of the population with treatments that are ineffective or costly (Panno, 2005).…

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gene Therapy

    • 1207 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Despite early failures that dismissed gene therapy as a viable means to treat disease and genetic disorder, decades of research have resulted in the development of safe and effective vectors, methods of targeting particular types of cells, and techniques to minimize and manage immune responses. In the process, scientist now know more about the disease-causing genes themselves than ever before, paving the way for the development of successful gene therapy treatments. As of now, people have been successfully treated for disorders and diseases including hereditary blindness, immune deficiencies, and even cancer. Inherited immune deficiencies, such as Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) and ADA deficiency, were one of the first genetic disorders…

    • 1207 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays