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Learn About Disadvantages and Advantages of Stem Cell Research

Advantage of Stem Cell Research and Cell Enhancers

Stem Cell Research, for some, is the stuff of Frankenstein movies while for others, this research has advantages
and holds the promise of a new chance at life.

What do you need to know about stem cells and stem cell research? Read through the provided information so you may
access the value of this research and the potential benefits to humankind.

Stem cells are called master cells because of their unique ability to become different types of cells within the
body, cells that are needed for healing and rejuvenation of organs, for example. Stem Cell Research ranges from these
master cells being taken from enbryonic tissue, adult bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. Adult stem cells are most
abundantly found in bone marrow. Stem cells circulate and function to replace dysfunctional cells, thus fulfilling
the natural process of maintaining optimal health.

What is Stem Cell Research?

Stem Cell Research is aimed at the potential that certain types of cells, called stem cells, have for regenerating
damaged tissue in the body. A stem cell is capable of developing into other types of cells, like liver cells, heart
cells, etc.

Current medical research is focused on two particular types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

Of the three types of stem cells, two are able to develop into any type of cell within the human body. These two
are called totipotent and pluripotent. The third type of stem cell is more limited in it’s potential and can only
develop into a small number of other types of cells.

Where do Scientists Get the Stem Cells?

The controversy surrounding aspects of stem cell research comes from the way some of the stem cells are acquired.
Some stem cell researchers get the cells from human embryos that are but a few days old while others take them from
fetus tissue over 8 weeks in development. The objections are strong from those who feel this is taking a life in
the name of science. healthynewage.com is not a political website so that conversation won’t be held here but it
is something to be aware of, in your own discernment around the ethics of this research.

Other ways stem cells can be obtained, which are less controversial but still not without questions and debate,
include taking them from human umbilical cords (mothers can donate their cords for this purpose) or from adults through
bone marrow.

Advantages of Stem Cell Research

Stem cells have been used for over 3 decades to treat cancer patients. However, current stem cell research is seeking
a broader base of application and the controversy surrounding how the stem cells are received still rages. The potential
of being able to use stem cells, to stimulate the body into growing more tissue in areas where damaged tissue now
exists, of course that sounds beneficial to me if the stem cells can be obtained without ethical concerns. However,
like any other new technology, it is also completely unknown what the long term effects of such an interference with
nature could produce.

The National Institutes of Health website has frequently asked questions about stem cell research and pages of resources
and links to learn about the ethics questions surrounding this technology, as well as the potential benefits that
have driven scientific research to the current level of public awareness.

Read More from The NIH Website.

What are Stem Cell Enhancers?

A stem cell enhancer is something proven to support stem cells and their function within the body. If viable, a
natural stem cell enhancer would be an alternative for some, who might be opposed to stem cell replacement on ethical
or other grounds. If something can enhance the body’s own ability to produce stem cells, I’d consider that a much
safer option than having someone else’s stem cells put into my body.

Articles about stem cells – this site has a huge amount of information on stem cell research but I confess, some
of the language is just way too scientific for my taste. Some of the topics include:

  • Establishing standards for the characterization of embryonic stem cell lines
  • Aberrant genomic imprinting in rhesus monkey ES cells
  • Reduction of Shp-2 expression by siRNA reduces murine embryonic stem cell-derived in vitro hematopoietic differentiation
    (whew, that’s a mouthful there!)
  • Cultivation of human embryonic stem cells without the embryoid body step enhances osteogenesis in vitro

If the titles didn’t scare you away, you may enjoy a visit to: The International Journal of Cell Differentiation
and Proliferation to read more.

Suggested Reading – Stem
Cells and The Future of Regenerative Medicine: Recent scientific breakthroughs, celebrity patient advocates,
and conflicting religious beliefs have come together to bring the state of stem cell research specifically embryonic
stem cell research into the political crosshairs. President Bush’s watershed policy statement allows federal funding
for embryonic stem cell research but only on a limited number of stem cell lines. Millions of Americans could be
affected by the continuing political debate among policymakers and the public.

Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine provides a deeper exploration of the biological, ethical, and
funding questions prompted by the therapeutic potential of undifferentiated human cells. In terms accessible to lay
readers, the book summarizes what we know about adult and embryonic stem cells and discusses how to go about the
transition from mouse studies to research that has therapeutic implications for people.

Perhaps most important, Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine also provides an overview of the moral
and ethical problems that arise from the use of embryonic stem cells. This timely book compares the impact of public
and private research funding and discusses approaches to appropriate research oversight.

Based on the insights of leading scientists, ethicists, and other authorities, the book offers authoritative recommendations
regarding the use of existing stem cell lines versus new lines in research, the important role of the federal government
in this field of research, and other fundamental issues.

It is up to you to determine how stem cell research and applications fit into your values and morals. It is our
desire to provide information so that you can become educated on leading edge technology and health choices.