There is a difference between non-embryonic and embryonic stem cells. Stem cells are liberated from human embryos. The first division of a fertilized human egg creates a human embryo.
Stem cells from the cords of our bodies can be used to make stem cells in any cell type. Stem cells are limited in the way they can be used in certain research methods.
Stem cell research can help fight cancer, improve genetic disorders, and more. How ethical is their use?
10 Corneal Damage
We need our eyes for a lot of things. Congenital and acquired diseases can leave people with partial or full blindness. Over 35 million people in America suffer from these diseases, costing the country $139 billion a year.
Stem cell treatment can help many eye diseases. A study showed that stem cells can be used to regrowth healthy corneal tissue in patients who have lost vision.
This was done by getting cells from an organ donor. The cells were cultured with stem cells and then put into the patient.
We are certain that you have heard of this one, if you are close with your grandparents or elderly people. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in America.
Stem cells from adult bone marrow were used in a study to protect the joints from osteoarthritis.
The results were amazing. The stem cells were injected directly into the joint. This could stop the disease in its tracks in humans, so that it doesn't progress beyond a manageable state.
8 Liver Disease
Our livers do a good job of repairing themselves. Our bodies have only one organ that can regenerate. scar tissue can't be replaced because of the damage to our livers. This scarring can be caused by many diseases.
The stem cells in adult bone marrow can be used to start the body. Reparative abilities lead to the recovery of highly damaged liver tissue. The liver is an organ that we cannot live without and this could save a lot of lives.
7 Heart Attacks
This one is close to home for many people. It is hard to find a family that does not know the pain of a loved one who has a heart attack.
A heart attack occurs when there is a blocked coronary arteries. There is limited or no access to oxygen in the heart. Our hearts can't regenerate and this can be fatal.
Stem cells were used to treat mice who had suffered heart attacks. Stem cells mimicked cardiac cells perfectly, showing evidence of using the electrical impulses that make our hearts beat. Stem cells can be used to treat heart attack survivors who might reduce their risk of a second episode.
6 Spinal Disk Disorders
What is the top complaint people have as they get older? My back hurts. The number of issues with the spine is astounding. 80% of Americans will have a back problem at some point in their lives.
There is a fluidlike inside of the spine called a spinal disk. The purpose of these disks is to give us a range of motion and shock. They become thinner as we get older due to the inability to regenerate bone tissue. Stem cells were injected into the rabbits.
The results showed a huge increase in the cells of the spine. Stem cells can be used in preventive medicine. The problem can be stopped before it happens.
5 Type 1 Diabetes
Our immune cells attack a part of our body when we have type 1 diabetes. This leads to severe problems. The beta cells of the pancreas become compromised in this case. The hormone that regulates and processes the sugar that we ingest is produced by the Beta cells. The individual will have to receive artificialinsulin through injections if they don't release it.
Stem cells can be used to regenerate destroyed cells. Mixed results have been shown in studies. Some researchers have succeeded in replicating the missing cells, while others have not. The medical community is still optimistic about the possibilities that this line of research could bring, despite the fact that it is difficult to find the cells needed for a base colony.
Stem cell research has been applied to cancer. We have to realize that cancer starts in our own out-of-control cells. Most of the time, we have a self-destruct sequence that takes care of cancer cells. We can't deal with the cells once they build up enough mutations.
In the case of breast cancer, research has led to the discovery of clear genetic markers on our own stem cells that indicate that these cells will go on to rapidly and uncontrollably divide, leading to tumors.
The door has been opened to some amazing opportunities by this discovery. It is difficult to stop the growth of tumors once they have started. Mastectomies are the answer. We could find these cells and destroy them before the cancer starts.
How can we use stem cells to help a disorder with so many genes? It is possible if you believe it. The effect is what we should be concerned about in the case of autism.
We see parts of a child's brain that is hypoxic. Stem cells can be grown in the brain to improve brain function and help with the symptoms of autism.
Many researchers are optimistic about the trials being conducted on animals. We will still learn a lot about the cause and effect of the disorder.
2 Parkinson’s Disease
This disease is horrible. The death of dopamine-producing neurons begins in the brain. The body becomes more difficult to move without this neurotransmitter. Difficulty speaking, tremors, and more are some of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease.
Patients with Parkinson's had their dopaminergic neurons regenerated using stem cells. Patients got their lives back with this breakthrough research.
Four human embryos are required for this treatment. If we want to cure a large group of people, this is not realistic. We hope to find a way to treat the mass effectively.
1 Entire Organs
What if we could grow organs out of nothing?
It seems impossible, but it may become a reality. Organ failure is not the result of organ donors. In America, hundreds of thousands of people die each year from various illnesses.
Imagine if we had a lot of perfectly healthy organs in major hospitals just waiting to be placed into hosts who desperately needed them. We could prevent deaths in all age groups.
How could this happen? The process for each organ is different. A basis is needed to begin the regrowth of a healthy organ.
The ethics surrounding this are not good due to the number of stem cells and intact organs needed to make this possible. Stem cell research can save lives, but is it worth the cost?