Stem Cell Research

Cionne Nodd

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are undifferentiated or unspecialized cells that have the ability both to continue dividing indefinitely and to differentiate into many different cell types. (Aldridge 1). There are multiple types of stem cells; the most common are the embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells. To work with stem cells, scientist need to culture them in the laboratory under carefully controlled conditions. They start with a tissue biopsy containing stem cells; samples of cells are transferred to nutrient medium in a plastic dish. The stem cells then divide and multiply until the dish is completely full. (Aldridge 2). By repeating this many times you can create a cell line, or a cell culture consisting of cells that are all of the same type. (Aldridge 1).

Interesting Facts:

  • In 1998, Jamie Thomson (1958-) and his team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison created the first human embryonic stem cell line (hESCs).
  • Cloned genes are also used to produce pharmaceutical drugs, insulin, clotting factors, human growth hormone, and industrial enzymes.
  • In 1995 Bill Clinton, signed a law banning federal funding to research where human embryos are destroyed or discarded.

Important Faces to Stem Cells:

Comments on the Topic:

Most laws were established due to fear of the public that science was now attempting to be God in a sense. And a repetitive issue of when human embryos are used a line is felt as if it’s being crossed because the public feels you are destroying life, basically committing murder. Stem cell research is highly dejected because the public feels a line is being crossed between faith and scientific realism. The use of human embryos scares people to the fact they feel it is a malicious intent, or murderous act.

Work Cited

Aldridge, Susan. "Stem Cells." Biotechnology: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2012. In Context Series. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

"Cloning." Genetics and Genetic Engineering. Barbara Wexler. 2009 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Information Plus Reference Series. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

Davies, Bryan Thomas. "Stem Cell Laws." Biotechnology: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2012. In Context Series. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

"Stem Cells Controversies and Research." Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.