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

Stem Cell Research Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Therapeutic Stem Cells 1. What is a stem cell? A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell, meaning that its function in the body is undetermined; it has not specialized (or differentiated) to a specific type of cell, for example a muscle cell or skin cell. Stem cells typically come from either embryos created in the embryonic faze of development or adult tissue, one example being bone marrow. Stem cells differ from other cells in the body because they are able to renew themselves through cell division, and the new stem cells created can be caused to become specialized into tissue-specific cells or organ-specific cells. In medicine, stem cells have become increasingly popular due to the fact that they have the capability to form any tissue, thus enabling potential treatments in the medical field. Stem cells are used in various ways, but particularly for transplants. A specific case is for people suffering from leukemia, or other blood disorders, this is known as a bone marrow stem cell transplant; the most common stem cell used today, and has been used for the past forty years. The stem cells from the patient, or donor are transplanted into the bone marrow, also known as hematopoietic stem cells, or in the blood stream, also known as peripheral blood stem cells. ...read more.

Middle

Since the stem cells used to grow the vein were the patient?s own stem cells, there was no chance of rejection by the body ? another advantage to stem cell transplant and operation. Rejection is usually an issue faced when patients have whole organs from a donor replaced in their body. The immune system may not respond to the new organ, thus destroying the organ. However if the stem cells used are from the patient?s body, there is no chance of rejection with the immune system. 1. What are the potential disadvantages of using stem cells in medicine? Though stem cells have proven useful in the medical field, there are disadvantages involved as well. Specifically for bone marrow stem cell transplants, if the stem cell used is from a non-genetically identical donor, there are chances of contracting Graft Versus Host Disease (GFHD). This is caused by the new transplanted stem cells regarding the patient?s body as ?foreign? and thus attacking the body, proving the transplant unsuccessful. Another disadvantage to stem cell transplants is the chemotherapy radiation done prior to the transplantation; it makes the patient feel sick as well as lowers their immune systems, making them susceptible to infection. Cost-wise, stem cells transplants can get very expensive, costing up to $200,000; consequently the majority of the population would not be able to afford the treatment, thus not putting the research done to good use. ...read more.

Conclusion

2012. <http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-science/genetics-molecular-medicine/related-policy-topics/stem-cell-research/basics-stem-cell-research.page>. "Bone Marrow Transplantation and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation." National Cancer Institute. N.p., 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/bone-marrow-transplant>. "Cost of Bone Marrow Transplant - National Bone Marrow Transplant Link." National Bone Marrow Transplant Link. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nbmtlink.org/resources_support/rg/rg_costs.htm>. "Glossary | Harvard Stem Cell Institute." HSCI | Harvard Stem Cell Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/glossary>. "Graft-versus-host disease - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., 5 June 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002286/>. Lapidot, Tvsee, Ayelet Dar, and Orit Koller. "How do stem cells find their way home?." Blood. N.p., 15 Sept. 2005. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/106/6/1901.long>. "Obama Ends Stem Cell Research Ban - CBS News." Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. N.p., 18 June 2009. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-503767_162-4853385.html>. "Stem Cell Basics - Ethics, Moral Values, and U.S. Law." Stem Cells At The National Academies. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <dels-old.nas.edu/bls/stemcells/ethics.shtml>. "Vein grown from stem cells saves 10-year-old girl | Fox News." Fox News - Breaking News Updates | Latest News Headlines | Photos & News Videos. N.p., 14 June 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/06/14/vein-grown-from-stem-cells-saves-10-year-old-girl/>. "What To Expect During a Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant - NHLBI, NIH." NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. N.p., 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bmsct/during.html>. "What are Stem Cells?." Medical News Today: Health News. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/stem_cell/>. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Biology 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 International Baccalaureate Biology essays

  1. Biology Lab - frequency of cell division in animal and plant cell

    ANALYSIS QUESTION: Part 1: Observing Dividing Cells a) Meristematic area and the mature cells are different in position of the nucleus, structure of the cells and the size of the cells. In meristematic cells of the root, they are more square and smaller than the mature cell and the nucleus is at the bottom of the cell.

  2. biology extended essay - How different diets: vegetarian, vegan and a meat centered diet ...

    Five years Six months One year Eight and a half years Six months 13 00511-062 08/09 4.1.2 SURVEY RESULTS FOR VEGETARIANS continued.. Table 4 QUESTIONS: Sixth participant Seventh participant Eighth participant Ninth participant Tenth participant HOW OLD ARE YOU? 20 16 16 19 18 What gender are you?

  1. extended essay

    The Diploid DNA is then inserted from the somatic cell into the human egg cell. This procedure is also known as SCNT, which means somatic cell nuclear transfer. After this transfer occurs the egg becomes diploid, in other words it now contains two DNA traits, which are essential for the formation of a human being; and becomes an embryo.

  2. Independent Research Project Vital Lung Capacity

    To begin with, participants must indicate if they are afflicted with Asthma. It is then very important that the spirometer is clean; this can be done by unscrewing the spirometer and wiping the inside compartment of the instrument with a paper towel.

  1. Molecular Genetics: differentiating between various molecular databases

    The three species except for the crested porcupine appear to be similar in appearance and share the similar features. Guinea Pig Porcupine Hamster Chinchilla Table 1: Comparing Chinchilla and Guinea Pig Species Chinchilla (Chinchilla Brevicaudata) Guinea Pig (Cavia Porcellus) Number of AA in Beta chain 86 110 Amino Acid Sequence

  2. How does the distribution of Plantago maior differ?

    6 2 4.6 10, green bottom of the pathway 1 5 3.6 2 5 3.2 3 4 4.2 11, near the pathway, grass 1 2 3.9 2 1 0.5 3 4 5.6 4 2 2.3 5 4 3.5 6 2 1.5 7 2 2.3 8 5 5 9 3 5

  1. Gene Therapy

    Also, scientists and doctors like the fact that a minimal amount (a few millimetres) of the altered adenovirus solution is required to fully cure a patient, whereas a vast amount (several litres) of retrovirus solution is needed for an even slower result.

  2. Comparing the Organ Systems of Worms, Grasshoppers. Frogs, and Humans

    However, worms and grasshoppers lack some organs (and possess some organs) that do not coincide with humans and frog anatomy. The worm and grasshopper possess a mouth, pharynx, esophagus, crop, gizzard, intestine, and anus. Worms use tough lips to break dead leaves and other foods into small pieces, while grasshoppers use saliva to help them break down the food.

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