Cell Differentiation and Stem Cells
Ashley Anchundia and Kierstin Rosipal
In a laboratory, scientists can do many different types of tests on cells in order to determine how stem cells function. They can observe a cell over a period of time (usually over several months) to determine if there is long term growth and self renewal. Also by looking through a microscope they can see if the cell had remained undifferentiated or not. They can also observe the cell to see if any transcription factors have changed and if any genes have been turned on or off. Also, under a microscope, they can observe the cell to see if the number of chromosomes have been changed or if they have been damaged in any way.
- Can a human embryonic stem cell ever be destroyed?
- Can humans benefit from the destruction of these embryos?
- Can we create a human embryo and destroy it?
- Are we able to clone a human embryo?
A lot of ethical and religious issues come up when the research of embryonic cells come into place. Abortion, a very controversial topic, is often related to the study of these cells, causing conflict and moral issues in the research.
Although morals are often brought up regarding scientists who study stem cells, their discoveries can help improve medical care and treatments dramatically. They can find treatments to numerous genetic disorders and also try to figure out treatments to cancer and birth defects. They can also form new cells and tissue for injured people and can benefit diseases such as type 1 diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson's' disease and burn victims.