Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.
The advantages and disadvantages of stem cells Human embryonic stem cells in cell culture In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits, advantages and disadvantages that arise from the use of various stem cell types, whether it is for research or therapeutic purposes. It's true, most of the people have a general idea of the controversy arising from the use of stem cells.
However, there are many different types stem cells, created or derived using a plethora of different techniques from an equally large plethora of sources.
Not all stem cells are created by destroying embryos and not all stem cells have the same differentiation capacity, advantages, disadvantages etc. Before moving to the actual prons and cons, lets first explain some basic things about stem cells.
What is a stem cell? Stem cells are cells with the capacity to transform themselves into other, more specialised cells, like muscle cells, neurons, skin cells and all the other cells our bodies are comprised of. Today, medical research is focused on three particular types of stem cells: The first type is found in embryos.
The second type is found in a great number of tissues and organs including bone marrow, blood, adipose tissue and liver. As for induced pluripotent stem cells, they are artificial stem cells created by reverting differentiated cells e.
If you want to learn more about the various types and subtypes, I suggest you to begin with our article on what stem cells are. The article begins with all the basics and gradually digs deeper and deeper into the world of these very promising cells. Stem Cell Advantages Hematopoietic stem cells already save thousands and thousands of patients each and every year.
The are patients with cancer and several rare blood diseases. If it wasn't for stem cells, these people would most certainly die. For example, studying embryonic stem cells help us learn more about human growth, cell development and what sometimes goes "wrong" during this process and why.
This insight will be critical in one day treating these diseases, even if the actual treatment is not stem cell-based. Most scientists agree, stem cells are the key to one day grow tissues, organs and perhaps limbs.
This is not sci-fi. Researchers have already grown and transplanted simple organsusing a combination of stem cells and scaffolds.
Researchers have already created disease-in-a-dish models for a plethora of different conditions like Alzheimer's. Once this becomes standard practise, it will greatly reduce the need of clinical trials on animals and humans alike. Creating many of these models would be impossible without the help of induced pluripotent stem cells.
Stem cells have already shown some very promising results in people with spinal cord injuries. Who knows, they may one day allow people with debilitating SCI injuries to walk again.
Not all stem cells require the destruction or killing if you prefer of a human embryo.
Adult and induced pluripotent stem cell lines can be developed using a piece skin or a bone marrow sample. Heck, a pinch of blood is enough!
Unlike embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells are autologous, meaning that they are developed from the patient himself.
Which in turn means little to none risk of rejection for stem cell based treatments. This also means that there will be no need for using immunosuppressive drugs once such treatments are available. The knowledge gained by studying stem cells give us a better understanding of ageing.
Perhaps the key for delaying, halting or even reversing ageing is just a few decades away! Stem Cell Disadvantages The use of human embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of laboratory-fertilised human eggs.
Many view the blastocysts destroyed during the process as just a mass of cells, while believe that life begins at conception and thus consider the whole process to be immoral and unacceptable.
Both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells have a tendency to forming tumours. On the other hand, adult stem cells don't seem to have this problem, due to their limited differentiation nature.
We will have to wait many years, perhaps decades before seeing widespread clinical application of stem cell therapies, with the exception of course hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Having an an experimental, none FDA approved treatment is dangerous and may prove to be deadly.
This of course applies to many of the experimental, not FDA approved stem cell therapies provided all over the world by clinics and individual physicians.The advancement of biomedical research has improved stem cell therapies immensely.
There is a lot of unnecessary debate about the advantages and disadvantages of adult stem cell therapy versus embryonic stem cell therapy, which could be avoided if people . Many critics of embryonic stem cell research, or ESCr, suggest that adult stem cell research is a better alternative because it does not destroy human embryos.
Adult stem cells cannot be made into as many different types of . Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes Essay Words | 5 Pages Diabetes, or fully named Diabetes Mellitus is when a person has high blood sugar and that is cause by the lack of insulin produced by the pancreas or it is when the cells do not respond to the insulin produced, it is also according to the type of diabetes that the cause may be different .
Adult stem cells can replenish specialised cells from just a few unspecialised cells. Adult stem cell therapy aims to create healthy cell lines in a laboratory and then use these to replace dysfunctional cells in the patient. The use of adult stem cells appears to be more socially acceptable as it does not involve the destruction of a human embryo.
Adult stem cells are not rejected by the body’s immune system as a result of being capable of performing an autologous transplant ("Advantages and Disadvantages of Adult Stem Cells over Embryonic/Germ Cells" par.1).
Apart from embryonic and adult stem cells, there are also amniotic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells that do not involve the creation, use and destruction of human embryos.
This means not everything about stem cell research goes against ethics or comes at a cost of a human life.