Stem Cell Research : Stem Cells

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Dana Moua
English IV
25 April 2016

Stem Cell Research

What are stem cells? Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that are found in multicellular organisms. The reason for scientist’s interest in stem cells is because of the possible applications of using them. These stem cells can be used to regrow organs/tissues. By using stem cells, scientists may be able to find cures for different cancers, certain genetic diseases, and different physical trauma damages. They can be used to treat a variety of different medical problems but the issue with stem cell research is that embryos are destroyed when the stem cells are harvested from them. This is considered the moral dilemma that has prevented research in the past. There are three different types of stem cells: embryonic, induced pluripotent and adult. Embryonic stem cells (ES) are derived from the embryo and were the first to be harvested. They are derived from the pre-implantation blastocyst 7-10 days after fertilization. These cells are pluripotent meaning that they can become any cell type in the human body. Ethical issues have appeared because deriving embryonic stem cells disrupts the blastocyst. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are a type of pluripotent cell made directly from a somatic or body cell. It was first accomplished by Shinya Yamanaka of Japan in 2006 by using mouse cells. This technique has successfully been used to “reprogram” human somatic cells to a state very similar to ES cells. Adult stem cells are
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