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Stem Cells

Advantages of Stem Cell Research

Stem cell therapy has brought about a lot of excitement and hope in the medical field. Scientists and researchers believe that this therapy is the solution to many diseases that were thought to be incurable. Baby

  1. It has great potential to treat many diseases that were thought to be incurable before. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia. Alzheimer’s disease, Caner, spinal cord injuries and diabetes have observed commendable improvement in their state post stem cell treatment.
  2. It has decreased the dependency on donor organs and the problem of timely availability of organs. Organs such as kidney and liver can be grown in a lab from stem cells and then used for transplants. If the stem cells are extracted form the patients own body, they do not run the risk of organ rejection from the immune system.
  3. It has thrown light on cell development and growth of organs in humans.
  4. It has opened new doors in the field of clinical research as doctors can study the potential of new drugs without testing them on animals and humans.
  5. It has helped study all the different development stages in a human embryo, study the causes and treatments of birth defects, pregnancy loss and infertility. This can help get rid of fetal anomalies (diseases and abnormalities present during birth) and treat them at an early stage.
  6. There are scientists who believe that stem cells hold the key to reverse aging and may even help prolong life. It has the potential to delay aging and in future may cure aging all together.
  7. Embryonic stem cells are the most adaptable as they have the potential to differentiate into any cell type and have greater potential in stem cell therapy than fully grown stem cells which are pre-specialized.

The disadvantages of stem cell therapy

Stem cell was discovered only a few decades ago and there are certain areas of this therapy that cannot be overlooked

Ethical Issues
  1. This is a new technology and is still undergoing researches. Scientists are still unaware of the long term effects of this therapy as they are directly playing with nature.
  2. The use of embryonic stem cell has set religious groups and political parties into frenzy. This treatment involves destruction of blastocysts post extraction of stem cells. These blastocysts are derived from the excess embryos left after an IVF treatment. This sect of society believes that life begins immediately after conception and this sort of practice is nothing short of killing. It has stirred many debates where people think that this is an immoral and unacceptable practice.
  3. They don’t have solutions for every ailment.
  4. The technology used is a little expensive, though governments of certain countries have special concession for children who have chances of developing certain diseases or are born with abnormalities.
  5. Fully grown stem are pre-specialized and have limited scope of differentiation for instance, blood stem cells can make only blood and not other organs like kidney and liver. Also, they are lesser in numbers and are not easy to cultivate.
  6. The stem cells derived from embryos stand chances of rejection as they are not patients own and stand chances of rejection.

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