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What Are Stem Cells?

  • Date Submitted: 04/13/2011 04:46 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.8 
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What are Stem cells? Stem cells are cells found in multi-cellular organisms that have a unique ability, the ability to renew themselves by cell division to develop into a big range of specialized cell types. Stem cells are where all blood cells come from. They have a sort of internal repair system that renews tissues in unlimited amounts, but they only reproduce as long as the person or animal is still alive. A stem cell is able to develop into other types of cells, like kidney cells, liver cells, heart cells and more. Stem cells ‘float’ around the body to find and replace dysfunctional cells, and maintaining optimal health at the same time.
For example, great places to find stem cells are in gut and bone marrow, because they constantly divide to replace worn out or damaged tissue, while in the pancreas and heart they only reproduce under special conditions. Because of their ability, there are great potentials for treating diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. Treating diabetes with stem cells sounds easy but can be quite complicated. The process is basically by replacing the insulin-producing cells of a diabetic with ones of a healthy pancreas.   However, there are complications that could come up during the treatment. Pancreas transplants haven been proven to be very effective, but the supply of organs is very low and the cost for the operation very high! Of course there is a very high risk factor of the patient’s body rejecting the pancreas; therefore they will have to be taking immuno-suppressant drugs, although this does not guarantee that it will work.
A major benefit of stem cell research is that it can help treat or even cure medical issues like Alzheimer- and Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, birth defects, diabetes (type 1) and many more. Stem cells can be used to grow limbs in a lab to then be used in transplants. They can also reverse the effects of aging. “The benefits of stem cell research have such great outcome that they overweigh the...

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