• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Stem cells: Haematopoiesis and the future of stem cell use in medicine.

Extracts from this document...


Stem cells: Haematopoiesis and the future of stem cell use in medicine In this essay I will be determining how pluripotent stem cells from the human embryo reach the point of multipotency, and then their function in differentiating into different types of cells in the blood. I will also discuss the future of the use of stem cell technology in medicine, in growing cells, tissues and perhaps even organs to replace the ineffective originals. When an ovum is fertilised, and has only just began to divide, each of the cells formed is said to be 'totipotent' as it has the capability of developing into an embryo in itself if implanted into a womb alone. After a few days, the zygote becomes known as a blastocyst, and each of the inner cells is able to produce almost any cell in the body, except for those that form the placenta, which have already been formed and surround this ball of 'embryonic stem cells'. ...read more.


These will each have the ability to form only one of four different types: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and granulocytes (another type of white blood cell, with granules in the cytoplasm), and then they may or may not differentiate further into more specialized types of cells. For the development of red blood cells (erythrocytes), a glycoprotein called EPD Procrit must be detected. This encourages the committed progenitor to form red blood cells upon mitosis. All other types have similar glycoproteins, which encourage differentiation into other particular cells. There are many ways in which scientists plan to utilise the unique properties of stem cells for medical use, particularly erythroblasts as they are known to be the least diverse adult stem cells. (The best stem cells available would be from an undeveloped embryo, inside the blastocyst, but there are many ethical problems involved with their use, so finding an equally useful alternative would be much more viable for the future.) Much sought after is a cure, or viable treatment, for type one diabetes, in which the body's own T-cells have destroyed insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. ...read more.


A therapy much celebrated by scientists and disliked by pro-life campaigners is therapeutic cloning. This is a type of cloning that aims to reproduce an organ, tissue or group of cells using a person's own stem cells. This method almost eradicates the risk of rejection by the body (as the t-cells will recognise the cells as non-foreign, but the method used causes some foreign mitochondria to be involved in the daughter cells, so there is still some risk, although much reduced). A donor stem cell from the patient is fused, through somatic cell nuclear transfer, with an egg cell stripped of its nucleus and treated with electric shock treatment, to stimulate the egg into growth. Embryonic stem cells can then be harvested and treated (encouraged, using similar chemical gradient properties and utilising homebox genes) to develop into the desired cells or organ. These can then be transplanted into the patient and, theoretically, function as normal. Heart and lung transplants seem far into the future, but miniature, functioning kidneys and pancreatic cells have been produced. http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/search/dict-search.mhtml http://www.mcl.tulane.edu/classware/pathology/Krause/Blood/HP.html http://www.copewithcytokines.de/cope.cgi?004470 http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/neupogenfacts.asp http://sickle.bwh.harvard.edu/sickle_bmt.html http://www.newscientist.com/news/news. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Stem cells: how is stem cell research carried out, and its benefits to medicine

    One of which is that the cord blood stem cells should not be extracted from a baby's umbilical cord. This is because some people believe that the baby should be given a choice as to whether its stem cells are extracted and frozen.

  2. Follicular development

    Initially, it was thought that GnRH only stimulated the expression of LH, but now it is assumed that GnRH stimulates the release of both LH and FSH. The anterior pituitary in a pulsatile fashion secretes GnRH, stimulating an increase in the expression of FSH and LH.

  1. Current and future biotechnological applications of Extremophiles.

    Extreme halophiles inhabit water that is up to 10 times more saline than ordinary seawater including that found in the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Owens Lake in California and the Dead Sea (11). They are mostly aerobic, have specialized cell walls, and have special pigmentation for photosynthesis, and carotenoids for ultraviolet protection (11).

  2. Investigation into the varies stages of mitosis

    The cell plate, which is synthesized by the Golgi apparatus, supplies the plasma membrane that will separate the two daughter cells. Synthesis of a new cell wall between the daughter cells also occurs at the cell plate. 1. www.ultranet.com/~jkimball/BiologyPages/M/Mitosis.html In all the research and information I have looked at the

  1. Free essay

    Can stem cell research provide a cure for diabetes?

    Unlike Embryonic stem cells, Adult stem cells are easy to find and extract without harm to the donor. A small study involving 23 patients with newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes was carried out in brazil. Stem cell transplants work by 'resetting' the immune system so that the body stops attacking the pancreas.

  2. The Science of Stem Cells

    However, they have the ability to form any adult cell. Because undifferentiated embryonic stem cells can proliferate indefinitely in culture, they could potentially provide an unlimited source of specific, clinically important adult cells such as bone, muscle, liver or blood cells.

  1. Aids and HIV.

    These are called "opportunistic infections" (OIs) because they take advantage of the body's weakened defences. You have heard it said that someone "died of AIDS." This is not entirely accurate, since it is the opportunistic infections that cause death. AIDS is the condition that lets them take hold.

  2. What is cloning?

    The egg cell of a Blackface ewe was then enucleated and placed next to the donor cell. One to eight hours after the removal of the egg cell, an electric pulse was used to fuse the two cells together and, at the same time, activate the development of an embryo.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work