Stem Cells: Their Source, Properties, and Possible Uses
A brief overview of stem cells, how they differ from specialized cells, they uses and some ethical consideration concerning stem cell research.
# 153884 | 880 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2014 |
Published on Jun 08, 2014 in Anthropology (Scientific / Medical) , Biology (Molecular and Cell) , Philosophy (Science)
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This paper explains that stem cells are responsible for the body's construction and its care and then goes on to describe how stem cells differ from specialized cells, their unique features and the importance of these features to the functioning of the body, and their medical uses. The paper concludes with a brief look at the ethical issues regarding stem cell research.
From the Paper:"Most of the billions of cells within a human body are specialised, meaning they've lost the skill to perform more than one particular function. Blood, skin, muscles, bones and the nervous system are made up different types of cells, each with specialised functions. There's just one type of cell which keeps the ability to identify in replication, and that isn't specialised in this same manner, thus creating other cell types. These cells are called stem cells (Home - MED - Stem Cell Institute, n.d.).
Stem cells exhibit features that aren't seen in specialised cells. By definition, stem cells can divide and replicate themselves. This capability can be termed "self-renewal". As seen above, when stem cells reproduce, they are able to identify, giving rise to a variety of kinds of specialised cells that are new. These unique features make stem cells essential, both in replenishing the body's specialised cells, which experience the natural process of aging (and eventually expire), and in building the body itself from miniature variety of cells, during the foetal development (Home - MED - Stem Cell Institute, n.d.).
Pluripotent stem cells, seen in embryos, can give rise to all the cells seen in the human body - cells as varied as those seen in the brain, the heart, the skin, and the bones.
Multipotent stem cells, seen in adults, along with in umbilical cords of foeti, have confined abilities as far as specialization is concerned; their skill to generate new cells is qualitatively limited to the kind of cells which make up the organ system they originated in. Multipotent stem cells can give rise to all sorts of blood cell, but no other kind of cell."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Home - MED - Stem Cell Institute, U. of M. (n.d.). NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from http://www.stemcell.umn.edu
- NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. (n.d.). Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from http://stemcells.nih.gov
- Steinberg, D. (2000). Stem cell discoveries stir debate. SCIENTIST-PHILADELPHIA-, 14(22), 1-7.
Cite this Descriptive Essay:
Stem Cells: Their Source, Properties, and Possible Uses (2014, June 08) Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/stem-cells-their-source-properties-and-possible-uses-153884/
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