Author: AnonymousEmail: Anonymous”Stem Cell Research” is a term that has yielded plenty of promising resultsover the past 10 years. Stem cells are tiny cells that contain theinformation needed to develop a minuscule embryo into a fully functioningliving organism.
These cells can be extracted from embryos in early stagesof development and can be used to grow or regenerate a wide range oftissue. Although stem cell research is a relatively new science, manyexperts agree that much is to be gained. “Stem cells seem to remind the body that is knows how to heal itself,” (A)says William Haseltine, referring to the studies in which stem cells areinjected into a patient in order to stimulate growth of lost or damagedtissue. Recent studies have shown great progress in treating a wide rangeof diseases. The process by which stem cells are used to regenerate tissue is quitecomplicated.Order now
If one were to try to regenerate skin, for example, theywould first have to isolate the nucleus of a skin cell of a donor. Thenthe nucleus must be implanted into an egg and the egg must be allowed todevelop. Then in the early stages of development the scientists can pluckout the embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to that of thedonor. They could then culture these cells to in effect “grow” skin. Thefact that this skin is genetically identical to that of the donor wouldeliminate the risk of rejection and the need for immunosuppressive drugsthat may lead to complications. So far, most of the research has been performed on lab mice.
Researchers have successfully isolated stem cells that seem to play animportant role in the repairing of heat disease. There have also beenpromising results in treating of diabetes. Stem cell research has not justbeen limited to the rodents there have been several human studies. Forexample a woman named Sylvia Elam had undergone several surgeries since hermassive stroke in 1992. She had been wheelchair bound ever since that dayand had lost most of her ability to speak. Her condition had been steadilydeteriorating and her husband had seen enough of her suffering.
Theyconsented for Sylvia to become one of the first 12 humans to have neuroncells, created in a laboratory from stem cells, implanted into her brain. A quarter-sized hole was drilled into her head and a syringe containing sixmillion neuronal cells was inserted into her cortex, which in turn injectedthese cells into her damaged brain. Her recovery was amazing; within twomonths she was out of her wheel chair and walking. The doctors reportedthat six of the 12 patients involved in the study were showing definitesigns of improved brain activity. One would think that such promisingresults would cajole lawmakers to increase federal spending on stem cellresearch. Until recently, in the United States, this has not been thecase.
For scientists in the United States, working with stem cellsextracted from embryos has been particularly rough. As recently as Augustof 2001, federal funding of research, which involved extracting stem cellsfrom embryos was illegal. This was a follow up to a law imposed in 1987that banned US Government funding for fetal research. This ban waseventually lifted in 1993 when the government realized the vast number oflives that could be saved from this significant research. It is a tragedythat this same cycle must be replayed for stem cell research because itsets the United States behind the rest of the world. Many US scientistshave been forced to immigrate to Britain for example, where stem cellresearch laws are much less stringent.
In the UK, scientists are allowedto work with embryos 14 days old and younger and still receive federalfunding. This allows researchers to capture stem cells that are otherwiseinaccessible. Although stem cells have yet to change modern day medicine as it isknown today, that vision may soon become a reality.Bibliography: .