Biol101 Homework Assignment 2 Essay

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B) Stem cells. A relative of a friend of yours had a spinal cord injury after a bad car accident. The medical team has decided that this patient is a good candidate for a clinical trial using stem cell therapy. Your friend has not had a biology course since high school, so you are going to write for him or her a two-page discussion of stem cell information. In your discussion, include a description of the biology of stem cells, and explain how these cells are unique in their ability to treat diseases and injury. The following website from NIH regarding stem cell research will be very helpful:

Before we determine how stem cells can treat various diseases including spinal cord injuries, let us first
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Many wonder why the spinal cord is not able to heal itself like the other parts of the body such as how the skin injured on a leg can regenerate and heal itself or how muscle can repairs itself is it gets strained. But the spinal cord is different. That is because some of the cells in the central nervous system are so complex and specialized that they do not have the ability to regenerate.
In come a stem cell which is an immature cell that can become a different cell, or even transform into one of many different cells. Most stem cells can also renew or divide themselves indefinitely. These two characteristics are what present a new pathway to repairing damage to the human body caused by trauma, degeneration and disease. Stem cells keep on generating in the body and take place of the cells which have died such as in a spinal cord injury. The process of using stem cells for spinal cord injury is controversial for some and involves taking one’s own bone marrow or a donated human umbilical cord. A licensed anesthesiologist harvests bone marrow from both hips under light general anesthesia in a hospital operating room, the procedure takes about one and half to two hours. The bone marrow-derived stem cells have to pass rigorous testing for quality and to ensure there is not bacterial contamination before they are administered to the patient. In the same fashion

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