Stem Cell Research

In: Science

Submitted By rasmus14
Words 2131
Pages 9
Playing with life, Playing with rules? Have you or someone that you’ve known, maybe someone dear to you, ever lost a limb? Then you may have heard of stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells have the amazing ability to theoretically grow back any body part. They have the potential to morph into any of the 220 cell types found in the body (Robinson 1). It has the restoration power capable of reestablishing functions of the body as well, such as eyesight. The drawback to stem cell research is that it requires baby fetuses to acquire the material. Stem cells differ from other cells in the body, as they are capable of dividing and rebuilding themselves for long durations of time. This is unlike muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells. They are not able to replicate themselves, while stem cells can do it many times. This means that if stem cells are kept in a laboratory over a long period of time, they can yield many other stem cells. Another property of stem cells is that they are unspecialized, meaning that they do not help with anything in the body. For example, they are not able to help the heart pump blood in the body. However, stem cells can become heart muscle cells and blood cells, which could do that function. A third property of stem cells is that they become specialized cells. This is called differentiation, when the stem cell morphs into a cell that will have a specific function in the body (Robinson 1). In the last five years, China has increased its research funding greatly in the field of stem cell research. They have been focusing mainly on bone marrow and embryonic stem cells. China has already been able to apply stem cell research in treating acute heart failure and acute liver failure. They were also able to apply this research to limb problems as well (Liao 1). Stem cell research is debated ethically and argued religiously, but will be determined…...

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