Stem cells raise questions

Sarah Love, trending now editor

Stem cells are cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated.
“Stem cells are super valuable to human resources because they offer a different viewpoint on chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease,” said Zachary Standark, a senior.
Researchers have found several sources for stem cells, though there is debate as to the ethicality of the practice. According to Medical News today, a site dedicted to medical research, one source of stem cells are embryos that are three to five days old. At this stage, an embryo is called a blastocyst and has about 150 cells.
These stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can divide into even more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body. This versatility allows embryonic stem cells to be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.
Another form of stem cells can be found in small amounts in most adult tissues, like bone marrow and fat. These are called adult stem cells, and are less controversial. Adult stem cells are currently being tested in patients with neurological and heart diseases.
“Stem cells are some of the most intricate things in the human body,” Jacob Freedman, a senior.
The use of embryonic stem cells can be a very controversial topic. Since they are obtained from early-stage embryos, many people have raised questions and suspicions about the ethics of embryonic stem cell research.
The National Institutes of Health created guidelines for human stem cell research in 2009. The stem cells are donated with informed consent from donors.
Stem cells can divide to form more cells, called daughter cells, under the right conditions in the body or in a laboratory. These daughter cells can either become new stem cells or become specialized cells with a more specific function, such as brain cells, blood cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells.