Stem Cell

Essay by stellar_dream7A-, December 2011

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Stem Cell Research

One medical technology based on cellular function that is used in the field of medicine are stem cells. Stem cell research is the latest medical technology of the 21st Century. Stem cells are known as the building blocks of the human body. In the beginning, they have no purpose but they can become any cell in the body. Stem cells are also called pluripotent cells and they can undergo mitosis.

Ernest McCulloch, a Canadian doctor was the first to identify and created the basics for stem cell research. McCulloch, after receiving his MD from the University of Toronto, began his education and research at the Lister Institute in London, England. He joined the Ontario Cancer Institute in 1957, where most of his research was based on leukemia. With his colleague, Dr. J.E Till, they created the first method to identify stem cells. Furthermore, they constituted the theory of stem cells and created the foundation that is used today.

There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult. Embryonic cells grow and can become different cells that the body requires. Adults stem cells are located in the brain, bone marrow and other organs. They are essential for repairing damaged cells. Adult stem cells have the potential to be used for research and treatment. However, most researchers believe that the "embryonic" stem cells are more favorable to treat and cure diseases. Stem cells are different because they can duplicate themselves for an unlimited period and they can grow into different cell types in the body. For example, when a stem cell undergoes mitosis, the two cells can remain as stem cells or one of them can be a brain cell and the other could be a muscle cell. Unfortunately, scientists only know how to extract and grow...