Benefits we Gain from Stem Cell Research
Stem cells are needed in regenerative medicine. This is seen where they are applied in the treatment of some complicated diseases and injuries. There is a lot of promise in stem cell research, and even more controversy surrounding the subject.
Stem cells are special cells in our bodies, which can change into different types of cells, like muscle cells, organ cells, as well as brain cells. There are two types of stem cells, namely the embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells. The embryonic stem cells come from unused human embryos, and are mostly used for research. The embryos shall be made through in vitro fertilization. They have the ability to become many different types of cells. Adult stem cells are more limited in transformation, and thus can only become one of two types. They are gotten from fully developed tissue, sources being the bone marrow, skin, and brain.
Since stem cells can become other cells, stem cell therapy focuses on using these cells to replace dysfunctional or damaged cells in tissues and organs. Here are examples of how that has been done.
Damaged corneas have been repaired in this process before. There shall be harvesting of stem cells in the limbus, that area of the eye between the iris and sclera. They shall then be multiplied in the lab. Once they hit a desirable number, they will be put back into the damaged eye, thus giving you your sight back.
You can now have your skin restored after surviving a serious burn. Skin stem cells will be harvested and used to make new sheets of skin which will go to cover the areas damaged by the burns. The research currently is focused on finding ways to make the new skin have its own hair, sweat glands, and oil glands.
Stem cells have also been used to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Should the brain cells or neurons of the dopamine-producing areas of the brain degenerate, the patients will go through tremors, slow movement, the rigidity of the limbs, balance and gait issues, alterations in their speech and writing. Through stem cells regeneration, there shall be new dopamine-inducing neurons to replace the damaged ones.
Chemotherapy may be necessary for treating cancer, but it leaves you with destroyed stem cells. Once it is over, stem cells have to be reintroduced into your body. They will go to the bone marrow, to grow and develop into healthy blood cells.
There are even more areas where stem cell therapy is beneficial, such as for treating the damage heart complications like heart attacks cause. These examples go to show why support for stem cell research is necessary. You will get to learn more about it on this site.