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The use of stem cells and surrounding problems

In the previous spotlight we had an article talking about the origins of stem cells. In this article, we will talk more about the use, use of stem cells in the treatment of diseases and issues surrounding stem cells today.

Uses of stem cells

Stem cells themselves do not serve any single purpose but are important for many reasons. With the potential for regeneration of damaged tissue, under the right conditions and taking on the role of any type of cell. It has provided an opportunity to save lives or recover from wounds and tissue damage in humans after illness or injury.

Scientists can see many applications from stem cells in the following ways:

Tissue regenerative medicine

Stem cells are pluripotent cells capable of turning into specialized cell types in the human body. Therefore, the function of stem cells is to serve as a repair system, replacing damaged or dead cells.

Stem cells are used to replenish, replace, and repair disease-causing deviant functional cells or old, damaged cells. Currently, stem cell biotechnology is being used to treat many dangerous and incurable diseases. Therefore, in the future it is expected to be able to grow into new tissue, used in transplantation and regenerative medicine.

Assistance in understanding the pathological mechanism

Stem cells also help health professionals increase their understanding of the pathological mechanism, by studying adult stem cells that differentiate into cells. From there, better understand the mechanism of the disease as well as the causes of the disease and disease progression.

Testing and developing drugs

Reliance on cell culture, the time for research and development of drugs will be greatly shortened. The use of cultured stem cells helps to screen for the toxicity of new drugs as well as to study their effectiveness, and be able to test whether the drug affects the cells to be harmed.

What diseases stem cells cure

Currently, stem cell technology can be applied to research and cure more than 80 different diseases, including diseases of the heart, brain, lack of cells, blood,…

Here are some diseases that are being treated using stem cell technology:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Stroke
  • Burn
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Multiple myeloma
  • 1-sided amyotrophic sclerosis
  • ….

Issues Surrounding the Use of Stem cells

There are many problems associated with stem cell culture, among them the use of embryonic stem cells and therapeutic cloning.

Why there is controversy over the use of embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are taken from an early stage — a group of cells that forms when an egg is fertilized with sperm at a laboratory. Sonic embryonic stem cells extracted entirely from human embryos should have some ethical issues with this study.

Embryos being used in embryonic stem cell research are now obtained from fertilized eggs at in vitro fertilization clinics, but have never been implanted in a woman’s uterus. Stem cells are donated with the consent of the donor. Stem cells can live and grow in special solutions in test tubes or petri dishes in the laboratory.

What is therapeutic cloning and Does it bring benefits

Therapeutic cloning, also known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, is a technique for creating pluripotent stem cells independent of a fertilized egg. In this technique, the nucleus is removed from the unfertilized egg. This nucleus contains genetic material. The nucleus is also removed from the donor’s cell.

This nucleus is then injected into the egg, replacing the nucleus that has been removed, in a process called nuclear transfer. Eggs are allowed to divide and soon form blastocysts. This process creates a stem cell line that is genetically identical to the donor’s cell — essentially a clone

But it has not been possible to successfully carry out therapeutic cloning in humans, although it has been successful in some other species.

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