Stem Cells


Stemcells are cells that can divide into more specialized types of cells.They usually split through mitosis to regenerate. These types ofcells are majorly found in a multicellular organism (Parker et al738). In mammals, for instance, they are sourced from embryos andadult tissues. Whereas the embryonic stem cells are sourced from theembryos during the blastocyst stage of embryonic development, inadults they are derived from various body parts such as bone marrow,skeletal muscles, skin, brain and blood vessels. They are used forfixing and replenish tissues (Piore 42). As such, stem cells inadults are self- renewed and they can quickly regenerate to a widerange of cells just from the original organs. However, some factssuggest that stem cells may differentiate to form unique types ofcells in adults.

Muchis involved in the research of stem cells, their history, and thepresent state of the research in the field, the medical uses, andsetbacks that are worth discussing.

Whatis involved in the Research and Practice of ?

Often,the stem cells are either derived from a mutating zygote or an adulttissue (Parker et al 740). The derived cells are then transferred andput in a controlled environment that hinders them fromdifferentiating further. In this state the cells can only split andduplicate though they maintain their capability to form any cell inthe body. As such, these cells are in the long run stirred to formspecific cells.

Additionally,the research may stimulate the stem cell to specialize to aparticular type of cells in a process known as directeddifferentiation (Ahmadian 3). In this process, embryonic cells areoften used since they have the capacity to separate into varioustypes of cells as compared to adult stem cells.


Sincethe invention of the microscope in the 19th-century, scientists havebeen keen in the study of the cell. Unlike before, celldifferentiation was seen for the very first time cells wereacknowledged to be the fundamental structures of life and able ofgiving rise to other cells. The cells equally played an important inunderstanding human being development processes. However, it was notuntil the 20th century that researchers found out that all types ofblood cells trace their origin from one particular cell- stem cell.

In1963, Ernest McCulloch and James Till, all Canadian researchers wereable to discover the self-regenerating behaviors of a transplantedmouse bone marrow cells (Parker et al 740). Since then researchersbecame interested in adult stem cells of both human and animals andthe studies have been ongoing. Between the 1980s and 90s, theadvancement in biotechnology enabled the introduction of proceduresand techniques that aimed at changing genetic materials andtechnology of growing human cells in the labs. These developmentsresulted in the advancements in the field of research and study ofhuman stem cell.

Atthe tail end of the 20th century, a scientist at the University ofWisconsin James Thompson established the first embryonic stem cellline that is still in existence to date. This move is after heultimately extracted cells from extra embryos at a fertility clinicand grew them in the lab. Subsequently, stem cells research wasprojected into a new level. As a result of this discovery, availableevidence insinuate that the embryonic stem cells can probablyspecialize into any specific cells in the body, thus capable ofbreeding replacement cells for various tissues and body organs(Ahmadian 7).

TheCurrent Status of Research

Currently,the research on stem cell is a notch higher, notably hundreds ofresearch papers have been published in highly regarded scientific andresearch journals on adult stem cells as well as embryonic stem cellson a yearly basis. Although the research on adult stem cells hasyielded tangible outcomes, the embryonic stem cells research stillhas not (Ahmadian 10). In fact, adult stem cells are used in thecuring of various conditions such as heart diseases, leukemia amongothers.

Equally,the current research focuses on conservation measures. For example,spermatogonial stem cells have been extracted from rats andsubsequently introduced into a mouse host for entirely mature spermsfor the production of viable offspring. As such, sperm production canbe made from genetically quality persons who die before they attainsexual maturity for preservation purposes in case this researchproofs viable.

Withless doubt, research for stem cells is certainly continuous andequally unpredictable. Currently, stem cell research is conducted inthree broad areas. The areas include the biology of the stem cell,which entails how cells change from early state to specific cellstools crucial to carry out stem cells research efficiently andresearch into which diseases may be treated particularly by stem celltechnique (Ahmadian 12).

Nevertheless,if researchers and scientists would comprehend the biochemistry ofstem cell development the stem cell technology would ultimately beemployed to create tissues and organs that are replaceable andadditionally repair the damaged tissues and organs (Piore 44).Assuch, efforts should be taken to ensure stem cell research isprogressive so as to realize this major goal.

MedicalUse of

Boththe scientists and researchers are interested in stem cells forvaried reasons with a majority of them converging to the medicalbenefits accrued from stem cells (Parker et al 742). As such, therevarious medical uses that arise from stem cells for instance, intissue regeneration. Tissue regeneration is one of the criticalapplications of stem cells. In patients with burns, stem cells thatlie beneath the skin have been used to replenish or otherwiseconstruct new skin tissues for these victims. Moreover, stem cellsmay be directed to differentiate in a particular manner to grow intoan organ or tissue that is then transplanted to a patient in need ofthat particular body.

Stemcells also have been used to treat brain infections and illnesseslike Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s through refilling the destroyedtissue (Ahmadian 15). This aspect has enabled rejuvenating thespecialized cells that contain the unwanted muscles from moving.Furthermore, embryonic stem cells have since been able to be directedto differentiate into these particular cells hence making the healingachievable.

Formany years now the adult hematopoietic stem cells, which areestablished in the bone marrow have been of enormous help in thetreatment of disease like sickle cell anemia, leukemia among others(Ahmadian 16). These types of cells have the capacity to produceevery blood cell type in the blood. Although obtaining these kinds ofcells is a difficulty, hematopoietic stem cells have been found inthe placenta and umbilical cord. Hence, this has made these cellseasily extractable.

Embryonicstem cells have been widely used in tendon repair and joint repairsin both animals and human beings. For instance, in racehorse stemcells have been functional fixing injuries in ligaments and tendons.However, the introduction of adipose extracted from stem cells sawthe regeneration of the muscle tissues. Essentially, stem cellsenable a high quality of repair as well as minimal re-injury to thehorse over a longer period.


Notwithstandingthe significant steps that stem cells have made in the treatment of awide variety of diseases, there are worries about the possible threatof the outcomes from stem cells therapies (Parker et al 745). Assuch, both the researchers and the scientist must ponder the risksthat the stem cells technology poses medical and the scientificfields. One of the medical problems posed by the stem cells is theuncontrolled growth of the cells. Young cells have the potential togrow very quickly. Granted that embryonic stem cells are directed tospecialize into specific cell types great caution has to be taken tokeep the stem cells under control otherwise, they might overgrow intotumors which can be fatal.

Onthe same note, the embryonic stem cells may be misdirected todifferentiate into undesired cell types or tissues (Piore 45).As aresult, researchers take great caution and control to direct the stemcells to differentiate into the desired cell types. To prevail overthis challenge, scientists have started to stimulate a partial stemcell differentiation preceding the transplanting process. Therefore,managing the possibility of the cells differentiating into unwantedtissues after transplant process has taken place.

Anothermedical problem that is associated with stem cells is the possibletransmission of the virus to the patients that host the transplantorgan or tissue. The patients who benefit from operations takeadamant medicine that wipes the entire immune system for the body toaccept the transplanted organ. Possibly the stem cell therapy mightpass on tiny agent causing diseases to the patient since the agentcausing infections is contained in the transplanted tissue or organand the immune system is absent (Ahmadian 19). Equally, diseasesfrom various animals may pass onto human beings that are benefitingfrom stem cell therapies. This concept is particularly possible ifanimal nutrients are used in humanizing the stem cells once they arein the laboratories. Although stem cell treatment is becoming moreacceptable and preferable in treating deadly diseases today, it isimportant to assess and take caution on the medical problemsaforementioned.


Itis important to note, that stem cells have brought new life and hopein the medical field. With this technique, serious diseases have beenmanaged as well as treated as mentioned above. The paper hasadequately focused on its principal purpose of assessing andexamining the practices involved in stem cells research, what theresearch entails in its current status. Equally the paper has tracedthe history of stem cell research when it started its progress andunderlying future perspectives. Additionally, the work also looked atthe medical benefits as well as medical problems that emanate fromthe stem cells therapies and treatments. In a general sense, thepaper has fulfilled its purpose.


AhmadianBaghbaderani,Behna. &quotA Newly Defined AndXeno-Free Culture Medium SupportsEvery-Other-Day Medium Replacement in the Generation and Long-TermCultivation of Human Pluripotent .&quot PlosONE11.9 (2016): 1-19. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

Parker,Scott, and Paul England.&quotWhere Now for Stems CellPatents?&quotJournalof Intellectual Property Law and Practice.7.10 (2012): 738-746. Print.

Piore,Adam. &quot.&quotDiscover37.6 (2016): 42-45. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

Stem Cells

Last Name 9


Stemcells are unique cells that scientists and doctors recognized as theancestors of all cells in plant and animal organs. They are embryoniccells that differentiate into other cells during the fetus growth anddevelopment (Weiss 2). The discovery of stem cells in 1868 openeddoors to great outcomes, some of which have been accomplished in thelast one decade (Murnaghan 1). For instance, advanced practices instem cell research have paved the way for bone marrow transplant inthe treatment of leukemia. However, like any other medical practice,there are projected risks with the advancement of stem celltechnology. Nonetheless, the biggest idea in use of stem cells lieswithin the need to cure and treat human diseases.Simply put, stem cell technology in research and medical settingsrepresent valuable opportunities to heal not only severe medical andgenetic conditions but also the provision of affordable and qualityhealth care.

Historyof Practices

Asmentioned earlier, Ernst Haeckel discovered stem cells in 1868.Professionally, Haeckel was a biologist and a researcher, and in oneof his study on cell biology, he encountered unique traits leading tothe description of stem cells. However, this discovery did not meanmuch until the nineteenth century when a series of scientificbreakthroughs emerged all based on the stem cell technology.Specifically, LeRoy Stevens and Barry Pierce in 1967documented theirdiscovery that tumor responsible for Testicularteratocarcinomain mice were transplantable (Evans 1). Consequently, celldifferentiation even in the human study took deep roots. In 1998, aprofessor at the University of Wisconsin James Thomson and JohnGearhart removed human embryonic cells and developed them in testtubes (Murnaghan 1). In 2010, a Californian patient’s sufferingfrom spine damage received therapy from Geron of Menlo Park,(&quotHistory – UK Stem Cell Foundation&quot 1) thereby confirmingto medical practitioners that stem cell technology can be helpful inthe correction of various diseases.

Thestudies in this particular field are numerous, all focusing on aspecific medical purpose. Most recently in 2014, Masayo Takahashiamazed the world when he pledged to heal an age-induced blindnessbased on pluripotent stem cells (History – UK Stem Cell Foundation&quot1). In the same year, Charles Vacanti and Haruko Obokata from Harvardmedical school and Riken Center for Developmental Biology discoveredpossibilities of rewounding any cell into its pre-embryonicconditions (Murnaghan 1). However, the most recent breakthroughsrepresent unlimited issues regarding technology necessary to achievedifferent desired achievements. Similarly, regulatory provisions toguide stem cells practice exist. Such regulations are provided byFood and Drug Administration`s Center for Biologics Evaluation andResearch (CBER), World Health Organization and the medical ethics.

CurrentStatus Stem Cell practices

Stemcells are in many ways ideal for addressing genetic disorders, humandiseases, and injuries. Numerous clinical trials have confirmed thatdamaged cells and their functionality can be restored throughtransplanting the embryonic and adult cells Sheehan-Connor,Bergstrom, &amp Garratt 2). The reason for this is that inducedpluripotent stem cells can be introduced into cells of variousdegenerative diseases (Evans 5). The modern therapies recognizing thestem cell practices involves bioengineered technologies that enablehandling of cell differentiations (Al-Daccak, &amp Charron 2).Consequently, the technology has evolved to allow flexible limits inthis research. In addition, different cell based disease models nowexist facilitating drugs and treatment recoveries. For instance,cancer stem cell models (CSC) has contributed significantly topractices of phenotypic and functioned heterogeneity in most strainsof cancer.

Anothertrend in the field of stem cell practices is the emergence of bogusresearch claims by the responsible scientists. Several researchreports have been disregarded in academic and medical professionalsettings due to the fabrication of studies and findings. Evidently,Hwang Woo-Such from Korea made a report in 2004 on his discovery thathuman embryonic cells can be produced from unfertilized human eggs(Weiss 1). Several studies supported that Hwang-Woo’s reports werefalse and unsubstantiated scientifically (Weiss 1). Such bogusfindings reported by scientists tend to generate doubts and mistrusttowards medical practitioners and researchers.

Also,the latest atmosphere in the field of stem cell practices is debatingin matters concerning stem cells harvesting and use. The debate hasleft groups of a proponent for the use of stem cells and those ofopponents in a larger disagreement than before on the morality andethicality of stem cell practice. Finally, government andorganizations have developed new policies and regulatory devices tosafeguard the masses from harmful impacts of the practice, while atthe same time supporting new development.

StemCells Medical Benefits

Whenresearchers started harnessing the potential of stem cells, there newunderstood created by the body of knowledge stem cells from research.More importantly, the science behind various diseases, recoveryprocesses, cell activities such as differentiation andtransformation, and technological tools were acquired (Evans 3).These mentioned processes and items have enhanced the way otherdiseases are cured or treated, thereby improving medical services.For instance, in attempts to learn stem cells biology, researchersrealized that embryonic cells could be rewoulded or reversed tocorrect a genetic fault. Such realization that is enabled by thewidening body of knowledge has been one of the drivers of stem cellsresearch.

Stemcell practices have a wide range of benefits to people suffering fromvarious medical conditions. Since the discovery of the potential ofstem cells, scientists, and medical practitioners have reportedanticipated benefits in curing diseases that claimed a greatproportion of the population in the past few decades (Evans 4).Evidently, scientists have developed procedures to treat leukemia inchildren by replacing faulty aspects of human blood with thosederived or achieved through stem cell manipulation (Sheehan-Connor,Bergstrom, &amp Garratt 18). According to the National Institute ofHealth, regenerative medical interventions hold opportunities forrepairing cardiovascular damages and enhance treatment of cancer(Fung, &amp Kerridge 4). While these diseases have caused sufferingto approximately 1.1 million people in America, this regenerativeMedical Practices promises unlimited opportunities to address them.

In1967, scientists discovered that stem cells could help developtransplants. Transplants organs are lifesaving since they help apatient live longer despite the failure of the natural organ. Forthis reason, medical experts and researchers have achieved formationof cells and tissues useful in various medical therapies.Consequently, damaged and dysfunctioning body organs can be replaced(Al-Daccak, &amp Charron 2). While a large number of patients die inwaiting for transplants, stem cell research can accelerate theprocedures in quick and affordable prices.

Finally,stem cells are useful in the manufacture of drugs in pharmaceuticalsettings and a medium for testing. When developing drug formulas,scientists used stem cells to test the effectiveness and safetybefore trying them in animals or humans (De Luca 1). For example, inthe treatment of cancer, scientists creates a cancer cell line fortesting drugs used to treat tumors. In this case, pharmacists canhave a clear picture of the drugs and its effectiveness even beforeusing costly animal and human models. As a result, risks and sideeffects of drugs are reduced to improve patient’s healingexperience.

Scientificand Medical Problems of Stem Cell Practices

Stemcell research promises a great experience for patients and medicalfamily. However, several issues surround these practices. Forinstance, most of the stem cell treatments are in development stages.Only a few are documented to the final stages. Moreover, thesetreatments involve complicated procedures, advanced knowledge on cellbiology and expensive technology (De Luca 1). In this case, a scopeis unknown but open to errors and dangers. Consequently, negativeeffects are likely to occur when using stem cell technology to treatmedical complications.

Anothersource of errors is a misuse of terms when defining cells. Forinstance, the common word pluripotent refers to the embryonic stemcell inability to make the trophoblast, which is the outer layer ofan embryo (Schulze 1), stem cells important paly role in themanufacture of drugs in pharmaceutical settings and a medium fortesting. 5). However, in the functionality of these cells, they makeor reforms trophoblast and implantable embryo. In usage of such term,it creates confusion that might lead to serious errors of mistakes inthe description of element or aspect of the practice.

Notall stem cell therapy are safe since they trigger unexpectedreactions or conditions (Schulze 1). For instance, in the treatmentof cancer, the therapy may aggravate the disease growth instead ofsuppressing it. Another danger may occur due to the type of stemcells in use. Thereby worsening the medical conditions.

Finally,stem cell practices are entirely controversial. With advancement inthe development of both body organs and full individuals throughcloning, different groups have emerged opposing the practice (Fung, &ampKerridge 6). Even scientists have varied ideas whereby some considerthe practice as dehumanizing and unnecessary. As a result, anymedical progress in the field is discouraged. In this case, theadvancement in technology remains partially appreciated, and otherparts denounced based on cultural and religious beliefs.

PeopleInvolved Stem Cell Practices

Stemcell research and treatment involve different parties. Medicalengineers, doctors, and nurses are usually involved when providingcare to the patients (Schulze 1). The conduct laboratory proceduressuch as treatment of tumor in cancer’s patients. Moreover, doctorsand nurses prepared medical reports on the patient’s response totherapy or treatment.

Researchersalso take part in the development of the practices. These maybe thedoctors and nurses taking part in the research. In most developmentin this field, researchers from different fields of science havegreatly shaped up the outcomes of the research. For instance, theresearcher makes disease models for use in stem cell therapy and drugadministration. As mentioned earlier, pharmacists in drug factoriesused stem cells to determine the safety of drugs and perhaps theeffectiveness.

Otherpeople participating the stem cell practices included mechanicalengineers who design the lab equipment’s, software engineersdeveloping computer models, and policy developers who regulate theactivities to protect the public. Finally, the general public andreligious organizations have also entered into the center stage toinfluence the practices in their ideas and beliefs.

Inbrief, stem cell practices have evolved over the last century.Evidently, different medical and genetic intervention have beenachieved with stem cells. However, the practice faces limitation dueto some factors such as affordability of technology used in practice,the misconduct of the trusted researcher and medical practitioners,ethical questions and regulations. Worse, people are afraid ofundesired effects that may demonstrate harmful condition than thedisease they intend to treat. Nevertheless, with a close look at thetrend for the last 100 years, things are turning positive andpromising leading to a conclusion that further research will yieldtreatment and cure for many diseases.


&quotHistory- UK Stem Cell Foundation&quot., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Al-Daccak,R., and D. Charron. &quotAllogenic Benefit In Stem Cell Therapy:Cardiac Repair And Regeneration.&quot Tissue Antigens 86.3 (2015):155-162. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

DeLuca, Michele. &quotWhat Diseases And Conditions Can Be Treated With?&quot. EuroStemCell.N.p., 2016. Web. 3 Nov. 2016.

Evans,Martin. &quotDiscovering Pluripotency: 30 Years of Mouse Embryonic.&quot Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 12.10 (2011):680-686. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Fung,Ronald K.F., and Ian H. Kerridge. &quotUncertain Translation,Uncertain Benefit and Uncertain Risk: Ethical Challenges FacingFirst-In-Human Trials of Induced Pluripotent Stem (Ips) Cells.&quotBioethics 27.2 (2013): 89-96. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Nov.2016.

Murnaghan,Ian. &quotHistory of Stem Cell Research&, 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Schuzle,Eric. &quot8 Important Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem CellResearch&quot., 2015. Web. 3 Nov. 2016.

Sheehan-Connor,Damien, Theodore Bergstrom, and Rodney Garratt. &quotSaving Liveswith Stem Cell Transplants.&quot Journal Of Risk &amp Uncertainty51.1 (2015): 23-51. Business Source Complete. Web. 2 Nov. 2016

Weiss,Daniel J. &quotConcise Review: Current Status of andRegenerative Medicine in Lung Biology and Diseases&quot. N.p., 2015.Web