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The Revolution of Stem Cells essay paper

Stem cells are one of the hottest and most interesting topics in our medical area today. This topic needs different researches because stem cells seem to be our step in the future without diseases and suffering. One of the sections of regenerative cellular medicine that promises to heal people from many serious illnesses – is the study of so-called “stem cells” (SC). Stem cells – immature cells that are capable of self-renewal and development of specialized cells of the organism. The term “stem cell research” until recently, was known to readers of abstruse scientific and medical journals, but with the advent of “Dolly” less than a decade ago, most people have heard this term. Professor Ian Wilmut and scientists of the Rosslyn Institute in Scotland created Dolly. This news was a worldwide sensation number one.

Wilmut drew the cell nucleus from the remote breast of Dorset Finn. The nucleus contains the information and data components of the DNA of living creatures. The core was placed into an ovule that had no nucleus, taken from Black-faced Scottish sheep. Driving impregnated ovule, and using sheep carriers of the impregnated ovule, Wilmut created Dolly, an exact copy of Dorset Finn. It was an exact copy of Dorset Finn –it was the clone. Dolly was the culmination of years of research and the results of many experiments. This result was achieved with minimal resources, and has caused much debate and controversy. Now when cloning has become commonplace, people were thinking about the possible risks and consequences. That is why our research of stem cells has so important character and it will help to clarify a question about their use.

In the course of human history, new discoveries and findings, particularly in the field of science and medicine, have challenged the arrangement and ideas, pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Humankind has repeatedly had to re-evaluate their views and to seek an answer to the questions facing them. Often we have to, crying to leave the old convenient representation when we are confronted with rational thought and truth.

People are very conservative by nature. Persistently resist change especially when the traditional way, and works so well. New information is faced with the one that taught us a few centuries. We are confronted with such a prospect even now. Ongoing studies of stem cells, give us enormous opportunities. We are facing the real possibility of curing such terrible diseases, such as: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, congenital heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and many other diseases. Eliminating these terrible diseases through treatment with stem cells cause for genuine celebration.

Instead of universal enthusiasm, there is broad opposition among certain circles. Ignorance and lack of complete information among the masses skillfully used by reactionary opponents of stem cell research. More importantly, the Catholic Church and right-conservative circles, evangelical Christians in the United States form a negative attitude on this issue.

Stem cells researches are still in the very beginning. Listening to religious leaders, one might think, research has not yielded positive results. These critics of the researches forget to say that they had organized an anti-scientific company that is extremely hinder research. Breaking the majority of scientific research and experiments, clerics and conservatives demagogically say that scientists cannot show the result of their work.

First of all it is necessary to define the main concept of our research and then it will allow us to continue our discussion. According to Weissman (2006) term “stem cell” is also can be defined in the next way: “Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Commonly, stem cells come from two main sources:

ü   Embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development (embryonic stem cells) and

ü   Adult tissue (adult stem cells).

Both types are generally characterized by their potency, or potential to differentiate into different cell types (such as skin, muscle, bone, etc.).”

As it is understandable from previous sentences that there are two main types of stem cells and both of them should be described in the next information. For example, Bellomo (2006) stated, describing adult stem cell that “Adult or somatic stem cells exist throughout the body after embryonic development and are found inside of different types of tissue.” This kind of adult stem cells have been found in different tissues of the human body, for instance, the brain, blood, blood vessels, bone marrow, skeletal muscles, skin, and the liver are the place for adult stem cells. Their main condition is a quiescent or non-dividing state in which they can remain for years. The situation of disease or tissue injury could activate them and force to work. Prentice (2004) added that “Adult stem cells can divide or self-renew indefinitely, enabling them to generate a range of cell types from the originating organ or even regenerate the entire original organ. It is generally thought that adult stem cells are limited in their ability to differentiate based on their tissue of origin, but there is some evidence to suggest that they can differentiate to become other cell types.”

Saying about another type of stem cells we see that Novak (2007) was right describing them in the next way: “Embryonic stem cells are derived from a four- or five-day-old human embryo that is in the blastocyst phase of development. The embryos are usually extras that have been created in IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics where several eggs are fertilized in a test tube, but only one is implanted into a woman.” It is also necessary to add Novak’s (2007) comments who detailed information and explained that “Sexual reproduction begins when a male’s sperm fertilizes a female’s ovum (egg) to form a single cell called a zygote. The single zygote cell then begins a series of divisions, forming 2, 4, 8, 16 cells, etc. After four to six days – before implantation in the uterus – this mass of cells is called a blastocyst. The blastocyst consists of an inner cell mass (embryoblast) and an outer cell mass (trophoblast). The outer cell mass becomes part of the placenta, and the inner cell mass is the group of cells that will differentiate to become all the structures of an adult organism. This latter mass is the source of embryonic stem cells – totipotent cells (cells with total potential to develop into any cell in the body).”

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