Facts About Stem Cell Research You Should Know About

Barry Epling

Researchers consider stem cells as a trending subject in the field of medicine. The first researchers to conceive the idea of stem cell research started in the early 2000s, so it is reasonable to say that stem cell research is relatively new.

With so much undiscovered research potential in stem cells, many researchers look upon the endless possibilities it can bring to curing numerous diseases. Despite it making the rounds amongst researchers and doctors, the majority of the general public doesn’t know much about stem cell research. According to Barry Epling, It is our duty and a privilege to guide you through some of the basics of stem cell research to understand how this can help you and the future of medicine.

Source of stem cells used in stem cell research

The human body is perennially producing stem cells. The first point in our lives wherein stem cells are produced is during the fertilization of the egg cell from ovaries with sperm cells in the womb. These stem cells are known as embryonic stem cells, found in embryos. An embryo in its earliest stages contains approximately 150 pluripotent cells, known to be the most optimal state of stem cells.

Pluripotent cells are highly sought after since they have the highest likelihood of dividing more than the standard stem cell and an averagely equal probability of generating into any type of cell. The versatile nature of embryonic stem cells makes it the best medium for stem cell therapy, mainly when used to regenerate damaged organs and tissues.

Stem Cells can also be found in Adults

You can find adult stems cells in minuscule quantities within most tissues in the human body, including the bone marrow and fats. Unlike pluripotent embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have limited generation capabilities and lost their ability to divide into more significant quantities. However, recent research has revealed that stem cells found in various body parts can generate into a specific set of tissue cells native to where they are located.

For instance, bone marrow stem cells are more likely to generate bone, heart muscle, and blood cells. Thus researchers have tried to use this observation in possible therapy or treatment on people with cardiac ailments or hematologic disorders.

Genetically altered adult stem cells

Despite the limited capabilities of adult stem cells, scientists did not quickly discard the idea and found a way to utilize adult cells by reprogramming them into stem cells. By altering the genome sequencing of adult cells, researchers discovered that adult cells from any tissue or organ, and other parts of the body, can be reprogrammed into performing the same functions as embryonic stem cells.

This research discovery is considered groundbreaking since using embryonic stem cells per se can potentially trigger an immunological rejection or response from the system, especially if there are DNA or genetic differences between the host and carrier cells. As of late, experimentation on using genetically modified stem cells has been successful in animal research. However, researchers don’t know yet about the adverse effects of reprogrammed cells in humans. That is why scientists are still researching this potential solution today.

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