the Benefits of Stem Cell

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Stem cells are cells that have yet to differentiate into multiple biological functions that are specialized in nature and are present in multicellular organisms. The cells have the ability to differentiate and give birth to more stem cells by the mechanism of mitosis. Stem cells are the fundamental building blocks of all tissues and organs in the human body (Blanpain et al. 473). The stem cells are complex in nature, formed at various points in life, and come from various anatomical body parts. The various types include the specific types found in the fetal developmental stages and persist throughout life into adulthood, as well as those that exist only at the embryonic stages of life, hence the embryonic stem cells. Other than dividing into more copies through mitosis, the stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into distinctive cells meant for specific functions in the body. Nevertheless, beyond the dividing and differentiation capabilities, differentiated stem cells have diverse purposes very phenomenal to their respective functions (Puri and Nagy 11). Therefore, other than discussing the different types of stem cells including the Embryonic, Tissue-specific, Mesenchymal, and Induced pluripotent stem cells it is imperative to outline the Benefits and Applications of Stem Cells.

Embryonic Stem Cells

Cells obtained from the mass of the blastocyst three to five days following the fertilization of the egg by the sperm cell are referred to as the embryonic stem cells. If left in a conducive and viable environment, the embryonic stem cells develop into specialized cells that give rise to all human tissues and body organs. Nevertheless, when the cells are extracted and cultured in special media, they grow but retain the properties of the stem cells. The embryonic stem cells are pluripotent in nature, whereby they can differentiate to all other cells in the body organs except the placenta and the umbilical cord (Puri and Nagy 11). The embryonic stem cells are very significant in research and therapeutic testing.

Tissue-Specific Stem Cells

Also called the somatic stem cells, the Tissue-Specific Stem Cells are more specialized than the embryonic ones. These cells are exclusive as they can generate different cell types from their predilect organs. For instance, the hematopoietic stem cells give rise to the platelets, white and red blood cells in the born marrow. Different body organs and tissues contain some levels of tissue-specific stem cells (Blanpain et al. 475). These leads to an adaptation that helps in the replacement of worn out and aged sloughed cells, for instance, the skin, epithelial tissues as well as the blood tissue. The tissues specific stem cells are more difficult to locate in the human body than the embryonic stem cells, furthermore, when cultured in the laboratory, their regeneration is often relatively slower. Nevertheless, the tissues specific stem cells have been essential in research to realize what happens in injury, aging, as well as in the case of diseases.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

The connective tissues that join other tissue, called the stroma, is the point of isolation of the mesenchymal stem cells, hence referred to as the stromal cells in more familiar terms. The initial stromal cells were confirmed to having the ability of synthesis the born tissue, cartilage, and fat cell following their discovery. Later on, these cells were discovered in the cord blood. Nevertheless, no specific scientific benefit has been realized of these stem cells. However, research continues to unveil more just in case (Puri and Nagy 14). Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven that mesenchymal stem cells found in different parts of the body differ, as well as the methodology, embraced in their harvesting and culturing significantly affect their eventual characteristics.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells are those extracted from healthy body organs like the skin, and cultured in suitable media to later divide into characteristics cells that have the properties of embryonic stem cells, although of specific cell lines. These type of cells are very essential for scientific research, especially when it comes to the monitoring of the onset of diseases and their progress, as well as the developing and testing of therapeutic medications (Ben-David and Benvenisty 269). Even though the Induced pluripotent stem cells resemble the embryonic stem cells in many aspects known, they are not the same, and this explains why continued research has been maintained to discover more about them. Induced pluripotent stem cells were initially developed by use of viruses to trigger growth and division, but many more approaches are being tried out to realize whether medical treatments can find lucrative ways of better applications.

The Benefits and Applications of Stem Cells

Stem cells are very useful in many scientific research based approaches in the medical arena. The understanding of how stem cells differentiate into multiple and complex developmental tissues and organs has given researchers insight into diseases like cancer, which result from the abnormal differentiation of stem cells (Ben-David and Benvenisty 277). This information is then used in drug modification for containing such diseases. Modern science has escalated to new heights to meet the health demands of humanity. For instance, when organs fail, there is room for transplant. Nevertheless, donors are limited compared to the recipients in need for these organs. Therefore, stem cells are used in the production of tissues that could help the patients going as they wait for the organs for transplant, but with a reduced morbidity hence reduced mortality rates (Deans and Moseley 878). Cell-Based Therapies are handy in diseases like arthritis, Parkinson's disease, burn victims, and type I diabetes mellitus. There is a high chance for reversing and hence replacing the damaged tissues in case of diseases. A good example is the patients of heart disease. A heart attack could lead to the rupture of cardiac muscles or even the major blood vessels which are fatal. Nevertheless, stem cells can be grown utilizing the reverse and differentiation technique to build new muscles (Trounson et al. 22). On the other hand, the Parkinson's disease that leads to the damage of brain cells could be remedied through the same process.

In the case of genetic defects, the problems can be solved by the use of the knowledge acquired on the stem, cells. If certain known malfunctions occurred leading to particular genetical challenges, then the normal stem cells can be inserted to differentiate normally and solve the problem (Trounson et al. 41). In the case of burn patients, just like is done in leukemia whereby the born marrow transplant is done, the stem cells could be induced to trigger the growth of new tissues rather than seeking transplants which are more bureaucratic in the medical scheme. The cell sample can be removed, then grown in the media to develop into multiple cells, which are then induced back with more ability to actively divide and grow to deliver normalcy. Stem cells are paramount in the pharmaceutical industry (Deans and Moseley 879). They are grown in-vitro and then tested with certain drugs to examine what could transpire in in-vivo applications. For instance, tumor growth could be triggered, and drug testing is done, whereby positive results could mean a perfect manifestation in-vivo. Therefore, with continued research, there is more hope to deliver even more beneficial applications of stem cells in the medical field that could be handy in eliminating some of the fatal diseases that threaten humanity.

The Unique Properties of All Stem Cells

When compared to other cells in the human body, stem cells are as distinct as they are different from other cells. Some of the unique but exclusive features of the stem cells are that one, they can divide and renew with ease for a very long time about other body cells. Two, stem cells have the ability to give rise to other specialized cells and lastly stem cells are unspecialized cells. As opposed to the muscle, blood, and nerve cells in the human body which do not divide and renew themselves, for instance, the stem cell can replicate by themselves and proliferate with ease (Ben-David and Benvenisty 269). Furthermore, if the stem cells are cultured in appropriate media in the laboratory, they can replicate into millions within a short period, and the mother stem cells keep renewing themselves as time goes by and proliferation continues.

Resemblances and Differences between Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells

Both the adult and embryonic human stem cells have pros and cons when it comes to the potential utilization of regenerative therapies that are cell-based. Among the many differences that there is, one major variance between the adult and embryonic stem cells is that they both have varying abilities to differentiate and become specialized cells in the body (Trounson et al. 23). On the one hand, the human embryonic stem cells have the potential to become any other specialized cells of the body except the placenta and the umbilical cord, because they are pluripotent cells. On the contrary, adult human stem cells only have a limited capacity to differentiate and become the specific cells of the tissues and organs of origin.

Embryonic stem cells easily frown on the specific culture media in the laboratory during research. Nevertheless, the adult stem cells are very rare and cannot expressly be isolated from the target organs, consequently, culturing them to allow multiplication and increased examination is very limited in progress, an occurrence that has spurred more scholarly research. This difference is very distinctive between the two types of stem cells because many cells are needed to facilitate the replacement during in-vitro therapeutic tests. Scientists have since established that tissues that organ from the differentiation of both embryonic and adult stem cells are very different because of the incompatibilities witnessed following the process of transplantation. Nevertheless, substantial experiments have not been done to date to justify whether the embryonic stem cell tissue derivatives can cause rejection following transplantation. However, the adult stem cells have not been categorically established whether transplantation rejection is often inevitable (Ben-David and Benvenisty 268). Nevertheless, the use of tissues that have been obtained from the development and differentiation of the patient's own adult stem cells has minimal chances of rejection because of the immune system compatibility. This is perhaps one of the major aspects of major importance because the other alternative for preventing tissue or organ rejection is by administration of immunosuppressive drugs, which could result in adverse effects on continuous use.



Ben-David, Uri, and Nissim Benvenisty. “The Tumorigenicity of Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.” Nature reviews. Cancer 11.4 (2011): 268–77. Web.

This article is imperative to this assignment because it discusses the ability of the pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into other germ cells. Nevertheless, despite their tumorigenic characteristics, these cells are very essential for research to realize more about chronic diseases like cancer. Therefore, the information can be utilized in the development of medical treatments suitable to contain the in vitro cancers before in vivo applications. Furthermore, many similarities between the embryonic and the pluripotent stem cells are learned, except that the two stem cell types have different tumorigenic properties.

Blanpain, Cédric et al. “Stem Cells Assessed.” Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 13.7 (2012): 471–476. Web.

This article discusses the pluripotent, embryonic, and induced pluripotent stem cells. The ability of these stem cells to subdivide and differentiate into other cell types with autonomous functions invite is of key focus in this source. Even though the author uses a more complicated language full of scientific vocabularies, his theme remains essential to the aim of this assignment. The course helps in giving more information about how scientific information could be used to develop drugs for treatment by in vitro testing on the stem cells.

Deans, R J, and A B Moseley. “Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Biology and Potential Clinical Uses.” Experimental Hematology 28.8 (2000): 875–884. Web.

This article discusses the stromal stem cells, as referred to as the mesenchymal stem cells. The differentiation of these cells and the critical roles they play in the human body is discussed. The indispensable role played by these cells is discussed. Furthermore, research done on these cells reveals their limited use in the medical field. However, there is potential for more discoveries than some of the other types of the embryonic stem cells. The author discusses the uses of other types of stem cells under this topic and gives a critical analysis why further research is needed to realize the potential of stem cells in the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, except for the voluminous wording, the author gives a very good background of understanding and appreciating the uses of stem cells.

Puri, Mira C., and Andras Nagy. “Concise Review: Embryonic Stem Cells versus Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: The Game Is on.” Stem Cells 2012: 10–14. Web.

This source systematically gives research-based information about both the induced pluripotent and embryonic stem cells. The meaning of these cells are the terms used scientifically are demystified. Furthermore, the background information is given about the laboratory application after culturing, and pertinent biochemical tests carried out. Moreover, the application of these cells in the clinical setting, whereby drug testing is done, medical procedures carried out based on foregrounded in-vitro tests and quality control carried out. The diction used is expressly easy to understand, except that the article is very lengthy. The comparison between the two cell types is confirmed, and projections for which cells could be better for future research in specific segments outlines.

Trounson, Alan et al. “Clinical Trials for Stem Cell Therapies.” BMC Medicine 9 (2011): 52. Web.

This source puts research into practice, by outlining how the research on stem cells has been important in the medical industry. The development of therapies as is founded on scholarly research is discussed. The anatomical parts in which the different stem cells are found, their process of differentiation, and hence specialization into dispensing of certain functions is discussed. The author has cited many papers to support his arguments, hence the reliability of this source. Despite focusing on the therapeutic section alone, this article remains to be core to this research because it delivers the essence of stem cell scientific research.

December 08, 2022




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