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The Study of Stem Cell

To get around the philosophical objections to using ES, many researchers are looking into using adult stem cells therapeutically (The Future, 2005, A12). These cells reside in most parts of the body, and are pluripotent, though not omnipotent: that is, they have a restricted number of cell types they can differentiate into. They are in situ repair cells, usually found in areas where repairs are frequently needed. Bone marrow transplants are the hallmark here, because there are many hemopoietic stem cells in bone marrow, producing a continuous supply of relatively short-lived blood cells for the body and producing bone cells and adipocytes. Reviews are mixed on just how potent adult stem cells are, with some scientists holding the view that they can only differentiate cells within a narrow subset, i.e. they are already partially differentiated, and others presenting preliminary evidence that they can be regressed to a more primitive stage, and then have higher potential to differentiate into a wider range of cells (A15). For instance, some scientists have observed the capacity of adult hemopoietic stem cells to repair heart tissue damaged by heart attacks, but others claim that there is no evidence that the stem cells actually have any effect on the tissue, but rather that they may stimulate growth signaling chemicals which aid in the repair process. There is criticism that these kinds of tests should not be carried out until the mechanisms of action of adult stem cells are fully determined because they ma induce further health risks.

Using adult stem cells to reproduce in their natural environment, e.g. skin stem cells to reproduce skin, seems a more plausible application of adult stem cell therapy (The Future, 2005, A13). Another source of stem cells is fetal tissue, and a California-based company has applied for federal approval to use such cells to treat children with Batten disease, a lethal illness caused by the inabili...

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The Study of Stem Cell. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:44, August 21, 2017, from
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