Stem Cell Research Essay

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Stem Cell Research
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Stem cell research is a highly controversial topic that may hold the key to developing a cure for many cancers and diseases. In 1998, a group of scientists developed a technique to isolate and grow stem cells. The field is extremely new when compared with other fields. A few things need to be discussed before an argument can be made for or against stem cell research, the types of stem cells, the potential uses, and where funding should come from. There are many different types of stem cells and each one has a different role in promoting breakthroughs in the many diseases that can possibly be cured.

All stem cells, including the embryonic and adult, have three properties in common:
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The process of growing cells in the laboratory is known as cell culture. In order to isolate a human embryonic stem cell, the inner cell mass must be transferred into a laboratory culture dish containing a nutrient broth known as culture medium, where the cells divide and spread for several days until they begin to crowd the culture dish (NIH Basics 1, 5). When the process of sub culturing, the removal of crowded stem cells to several fresh culture dishes, occurs for six months or more, it is christened an embryonic stem cell line (NIH Basics 1, 6).

Adult or somatic stem cells are undifferentiated cells that are found among differentiated cells and have the power to differentiate into the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ it is found in. The purpose of adult stem cells is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found, but the origins of adult stem cells are unknown. "In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate

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