A discussion on the embryonic stem cell research

Stem cell discussion Get students to consider the implications of stem cell research and future technologies Learning objectives consider the implications of stem cell research research the current scientific situation debate the future of stem cell technologies. Activity Introduction Watch this video where Mark Walport, former Director of the Wellcome Trust, discusses why stem cells have the potential to treat many debilitating diseases, and why it is important to keep all avenues of research open.

A discussion on the embryonic stem cell research

Stem cells are cells that have the potential to develop into some or many different cell types in the body, depending on whether they are multipotent or pluripotent. Serving as a sort of repair system, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long as the person or animal is still alive.

When a stem cell divides, each "daughter" cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

For a discussion of the different kinds of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, see Stem Cell Basics.

What classes of stem cells are there? Stem cells may be pluripotent or multipotent. Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to any type of cell in the body except those needed to support and develop a fetus in the womb.

Stem cells that can give rise only to a small number of different cell types are called multipotent. Where do stem cells come from?

The Ethical Questions

There are several sources of stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells can be isolated from human embryos that are a few days old.

A discussion on the embryonic stem cell research

Cells from these embryos can be used to create pluripotent stem cell "lines" —cell cultures that can be grown indefinitely in the laboratory.

Pluripotent stem cell lines have also been developed from fetal tissue older than 8 weeks of development.

Problem Solved?

In latescientists identified conditions that would allow some specialized adult human cells to be reprogrammed genetically to assume a stem cell-like state. These stem cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs.

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IPSCs are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell—like state by being forced to express genes and factors important for maintaining the defining properties of embryonic stem cells. Although these cells meet the defining criteria for pluripotent stem cells, it is not known if iPSCs and embryonic stem cells differ in clinically significant ways.

Mouse iPSCs demonstrate important characteristics of pluripotent stem cells, including expressing stem cell markers, forming tumors containing cells from all three germ layers, and being able to contribute to many different tissues when injected into mouse embryos at a very early stage in development.

Human iPSCs also express stem cell markers and are capable of generating cells characteristic of all three germ layers. Although additional research is needed, iPSCs are already useful tools for drug development and modeling of diseases, and scientists hope to use them in transplantation medicine.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Ethical Dilemma

Viruses are currently used to introduce the reprogramming factors into adult cells, and this process must be carefully controlled and tested before the technique can lead to useful treatments for humans. In animal studies, the virus used to introduce the stem cell factors sometimes causes cancers.

Researchers are currently investigating non-viral delivery strategies. Non-embryonic including adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells have been identified in many organs and tissues. Typically there is a very small number of multipotent stem cells in each tissue, and these cells have a limited capacity for proliferation, thus making it difficult to generate large quantities of these cells in the laboratory.

Stem cell controversy - Wikipedia Posted on April 19, by Rebecca One of the most heated political battles in the United States in recent years has been over the morality of embryonic stem cell research. The embryonic stem cell debate has polarized the country into those who argue that such research holds promises of ending a great deal of human suffering and others who condemn such research as involving the abortion of a potential human life.
Lesson idea: Stem cell discussion | Big Picture This new medical research industry currently treats numerous illnesses and injuries and offers hope for more cures using adult stem cells. We rejoice with these advances in medical science and the promise of relief to human suffering.
Introduction Check new design of our homepage! Embryonic Stem Cell Research Debate Many people form their opinions regarding stem cell research without even remotely understanding what it means in practical terms.

Stem cells are thought to reside in a specific area of each tissue called a "stem cell niche" where they may remain quiescent non-dividing for many years until they are activated by a normal need for more cells, or by disease or tissue injury.Watch video · Embryonic stem cells offer hope for new therapies, but their use in research has been hotly debated.

Different countries have chosen to regulate embryonic stem cell research in very different ways. Mention embryonic stem cells in the pub and the topic still divides opinion.

For a discussion of the different kinds of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, see Stem Cell Basics.

What classes of stem cells are there? Stem cells may be pluripotent or multipotent. The use of human embryos for research on embryonic stem (ES) cells is currently high on the ethical and political agenda in many countries.

Despite the potential benefit of using human ES cells in the treatment of disease, their use remains controversial because of their derivation from early embryos.

Although the discussion here concerns.

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A discussion of the pros and cons, background, and latest developments in the ethical debate over embryonic stem cell research. Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research. The UK allows embryonic stem cell cloning.

A discussion on the embryonic stem cell research

The issue of embryonic stem cell research brings us face to face with a fundamental human moral principle and decision.

We cannot allow scientific knowledge and technological advances to extend beyond needed moral and ethical guidance. These cells are reducing the need for human embryos in research and opening up exciting new possibilities for stem cell therapies.

Both human embryonic stem (hES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are pluripotent: they can become any type of cell in the body.

Stem Cells: Classroom Discussion Activity