Stem Cells Revolutionize Medicine

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“Stem cell research can revolutionize medicine, more than anything since antibiotics.” This statement was said by former president of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan in this statement was saying that stem cells are the future of medicine and can change how the medical field may approach a problem. Stem cells are cells that have the potential to develop into different kinds of cells. Stem cells have an internal repair system. They can also replenish other cells. There are generally two kinds of stem cells that scientists work with: embryonic stem cells and somatic or adult stem cells. Most of the research come from lab work, where scientists keep stem cells in cultures, where they can divide. Stem cells should be continued …show more content…
One of the many properties is that stem cells are able to divide and replicate. For this to happen, the cell has to be alive. After the process of division occurs, the stem cell can remain a stem cell or become a different cell. Cell division can also create an embryo, called a blastocyst. This can only occur after the cell is fertilized. The process of division and replication can continue for a long time. Another property of stem cells is that they can be unspecialized. Unspecialized cells are made through division. Unspecialized cells either become tissue or organs. These cells can also replace worn out or damaged tissues. The last unique property researched is that the stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. The process of differentiation can happen with these cells. Differentiation is where unspecialized embryonic cells receive features of specialized cells. Examples of this process is the heart, liver, or muscle cells. Differentiation is controlled by signaling pathways, inside and outside of the cell, involving proteins. These signals tell the cell which step to go …show more content…
One challenge involves the process of differentiation. Since differentiation is always changing, scientists have no idea how to control the changing of the stem cells. Scientists have tried a process called directed differentiation, which is the manipulation of the stem cells’ culture conditions to make the process into a certain cell type. However, this process is not reliable. Another challenge is the process of specialization. To make stem cells in the lab means that you can not make fully working specialized cells. Another set back of this research is that it is very hard to understand. Once a scientist finds new information, it is very difficult to use because there is so little knowledge. The next challenge is the availability of stem cells. Adult stem cells are very difficult to grow in a lab and embryonic stem cells are very difficult to transfer. The last of the challenges is rejection of the cells. Adult stem cells are less likely to be rejected, but embryonic stem cells are rejected very easily from the

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