It seems as everyday that passes by more diseases are discovered, yet no cure has been found for the majority of them. Diseases such as cancer; diabetes; Parkinson's; Alzheimer's and many more; that have the capability of not only slowly wearing down your body, but also destroying entire lives and leaving huge gaps in families. What if there is a possibility of finding a cure, and it exists within your own body? Stem cell research gives a great opportunity to patients with incurable and/or deadly diseases that have been around for many centuries. If research results successful it will, metaphorically, be a light at the end of the tunnel for many patients.
According to (What are stem cells?) stem cells are cells that are undifferentiated or unspecialized. They can either produce more stem cells or different kinds of cells throughout the body. The human body has about 200 different types of cells. These are two major types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic cells are derived from the excess waste of newborn embryos or directly from unborn embryos (What are stem cells?). I understand how harsh that may sound, due to the fact that they are unborn children, but allow me to clarify. For the majority of these scientific studies the embryos arn’t generated specifically for the task of deriving embryonic stem cells. The stem cells are taken from embryos that would directly become medical waste, and are in turn used for a good cause.
Embryonic stem cells can make any cell in the entire human body. Adult stem cells can produce only limited types of cells. They serve as part of the repair system of the body. Adult stem cells are like small factories within your body; they produce spare parts for whenever another cell is dying or broken.
A blood stem cell (or hematopoietic stem cells) for example can only produce more blood cells. The same way, neural stem cells can only make brain cells. And although both are considered ‘stem cells’, they are limited to the type of cell they can make. A hematopoietic stem cell cannot make brain cells; like neural stem cells cannot produce blood cells. This is due to the fact that they are already in the adult stage and have been programmed to produce only specific types of cells. (Top Ten Things to Know About Stem Cell Treatments)
Another type of cell that has played an important role in stem cell research is the induced pluripotent stem cell, better known as the iPSC cell. (What are stem cells?) These are extra special stem cells. They are cells that have already been specialized that are regenerated to become stem cells once more. During the process the cell(s) are put in an ‘acid bath’. Through that process, scientists induce the cells’ nucleus with a new strand of DNA, reprogramming the cell making it forget the task it was mapped out to do. Once this happens the cell goes back to the state of a stem cell. It’s kind of like when a person suffers a type of...