What is the purpose of the technology in your topic? What is the goal / what is it trying to accomplish? Why is this an important thing to do?
The purpose of stem cell research treating and understanding disease, stem cell research is important because it could be the answer to many of our common health problems. Stem cells can be used to grow new cells in a laboratory to replace damaged organs, correct malfunctioning parts of organs, research causes of genetic defects, research why certain cells develop into cancer cells, and test new drugs. (Cafasso 2016; Terzic 2018)
How do scientists do the technique(s) involved in your topic?
there are multiple types of stem cells, the two main types are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are differentiated and can be taken from certain sites like the liver, the brain, and bone marrow, but these stem cells cant be used for just anything, they are somewhat limited to the region of the body they came from. Embryonic stem however are undifferentiated, meaning that they can assume the function of any cells they are interacting with. The reason these cells are undifferentiated is because they were extracted from an embryo during the in-vitro fertilization process prior to that embryo beginning to section off and form specific body parts(blastocyst phase), these undifferentiated stem cells can then be used to form any number of different cells.(Park 2018; Cafasso 2016)
The potential in human health for stem cells is absolutely enormous, these cells are being researched to treat everything from replacing and rebuilding damaged muscle from a heart attack, to fighting neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, and everything in between, people have even regained sight due to stem cell injections.(Park 2018)
The need for medicines could be drastically impacted. Instead of taking medicine throughout your entire life you could get a series of stem cell injections to completely eradicate the problem. By differentiating embryonic stem cells into insulin producing cells they may be able to transplant those cell into people with type-1 diabetes. (Cafasso 2016)
If injections are conducted incorrectly the stem cells could bind to the wrong tissue and turn into unwanted structures such as bone(Park 2018). If stem cells are identified incorrectly it could pose major problems. The way we identify stem cells is from their outside structure but that can be possibly misleading(Jones 2004).
Embryonic stem cell research is a controversial topic due to the fact that you have to extract these stem cells from human embryos. The argument is posed that technically it is a human life that these stem cells are harvested from, even if the embryo was never inside a human body to begin with