Stem Cell Research Anna Sullivan Allison Boshears
Stem Cells • Stem cell research is a relatively new technology that takes primitive human cells and develops them into most any of the 220 varieties of cells in the human body, including blood cells and brain cells
A wee bit of History • The history of stem cell research had a benign, embryonic beginning in the mid 1800's with the discovery that some cells could generate other cells. Now stem cell research is in a controversy over the use of human embryonic stem cells for research. In the early 1900's the first real stem cells were discovered when it was found that some cells generate blood cells. • The history of stem cell research includes work with both animal and human stem cells.
Interesting • 1908 - The term "stem cell" was proposed for scientific use by the Russian histologist Alexander Maskimov at congress of hematologic society in Berlin. It postulated existence of hematopoietic stem cells. • 1968 – Bone marrow transplant between two siblings successfully treats Severe Combined Immunodeficiency • 1996- Dolly the sheep was cloned from embryonic stem cells • 1998 –James Thomson and coworkers derive the first human embryonic stem cell line at the University of Wisconsin-Madison • October 2007 – Mario Capecchi,Martin Evans, and Oliver Smithies win Nobel Prize for their work on embryonic stem cells from mice using gene targeting strategies producing genetically engineered mice for gene research. • January 2008 - Robert Lanza and colleagues at Advanced Cell Technology and UCSF create the first human embryonic stem cells without destruction of the embryo
Roe vs. Wade • Roe vs. Wade is the historic Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas interpretation of abortion law and making abortion legal in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman, with her doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy.
Differentiation Potential • Totipotent stem cells are found only in early embryos. Each cell can form a complete organism (e.g., identical twins). • Pluripotent stem cells exist in the undifferentiated inner cell mass of the blastocyst and can form any of the over 200 different cell types found in the body. • Multipotent stem cells are derived from fetal tissue, cord blood, and adult stem cells.
Embryonic Stem Cells • are cultures of cells derived from the epiblast tissue of the inner cell mass(ICM) of a blastocyst or earlier morula stage embryos. A blastocyst is an early stage embryo—approximately four to five days old in humans and consisting of 50–150 cells. • Nearly all research to date has taken place using mouse embryonic stem cells (mES) or human embryonic stem cells (hES).
Adult Stem Cell • Refers to any cell which is found in a developed organism that has two properties: the ability to divide and create another cell like itself and also divide and create a cell more differentiated than itself. • Also known as somatic stem cells and germline stem cells. • They can be found in children, as well as adults. • Adult stem cell treatments have been successfully used for many years to treat leukemia and related bone/blood cancers through bone marrow transplants
Scientists hope for stem cell research and its ability to uncover treatments and possibly even cures for some of the worst diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Ethics • The overall debate over the ethics of stem cell research involve two major ethical concerns: (1) the potential for human cloning (2) whether these embryos, or pre-embryos as some refer to them, are human life
The Arguements • Proponents make many arguments in support of human cloning including the possibility of creating another “you” should body parts or tissues be needed later in life as one may develop illnesses and diseases. Opponents primarily argue that it is not within man’s purview to manufacture, manipulate, or destroy human life.
………. • The other major ethical issue related to stem cell research involves the ongoing debate over when life begins. Some say that life begins at conception and that the use of humans, even immature ones, for research purposes is unethical. Others claim that the embryos are only tiny amounts of undifferentiated tissue and since they are already scheduled for destruction, and have great potential benefit, they should be used to potentially help others.
Stem cell research is very expensive and lacked in money until 2001. Stem cell research was funded privately. In 2001 president Bush became the first president to fund stem cell research as long as it met the following criteria. -The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes and was no longer needed. - Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo and that donation must not have involved financial inducements.
Other Countries • Countries such as Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have made stem cell research even for purposes of human cloning legal. • Countries including Australia, Canada, and France allow adult and leftover embryonic stem cell research but not human cloning. • Austria, Ireland, and Poland have some of the most restrictive laws on stem cell research.
Bibliography • http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-stem-cell-research.htm • http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/HistoryStemCellResearch.html • http://womenshistory.about.com/od/abortionuslegal/p/roe_v_wade.htm • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5252449