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What You Should Know about Stem Cells Essay

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What You Should Know about Stem Cells

A topic of extended scientific and ethical debate in our society as of late has been the question of Stem Cell research. Going down this path could yield unprecedented medical leaps in treatment and prevention that medicine will be able to offer. Before I address the debate of whether or not Stem Cell research should be done, I want to first explain to my readers what stem cells are, how they come to be and what we can use them for. We must first start with the different types of cells, I will explain them as I take you through part of the fetal development process. The first type of cell is the totipotent cell. This cell is created when a sperm fertilizes an egg. This kind of cell can
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Once we are able to create these stem cell lines a variety of possibilities will be open to us. The first is the ability to speed up our future drug testing. This benefit should please animal rights activists. If we create a line of human stem cells for new drugs to be tested on than we can assess the negative and positive effects on the stem cell tissue before the drug is ever used on an animal or a human. Not only that but testing new drugs on stem cells increase the amount of information we can learn because we can target specific and more varied tissues that previously we had access to. Now I will get into more direct benefits of stem cell research. Pluripotent stem cells can be directed to develop into almost any kind of tissue, and this creates the possibility for a renewable source of replacement tissues and cells. What does that mean? We would be able to better treat and cure a large number of diseases and injuries including but not limited to: Parkinson?s, Alzheimer?s, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I have included an example taken from the National Institute of Health?s Primer on Stem Cells:
Transplant of healthy heart muscle cells could provide new hope for patients with chronic heart disease whose hearts can no longer pump adequately. The hope is to develop
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