Stem cells are unspecified cells that have the ability through cell division to become specialized cells. These cells possess regenerative properties for longer periods of time than other cells. And, in certain conditions can be induced to become tissue or organ specific cells. By seeking to understand their regenerative process, scientists can treat, prevent and maybe someday cure diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
This paper will cover what he research is looking at, and the processes that it has progressed through. As with most science discoveries and the technology that is founded with them, there is more to consider than just the science itself. These considerations include economical issues, political and legal issues, social and psychological issues, cultural impacts, moral issues and environmental issues. Stem cell research impacts all of these factions of the human world.
With the potential for so much conflict and misunderstanding a clear and defined consideration of budding points of contention is needed to address these issues in a manner that allows both the progression of the science while still moderating any negative impacts to society. In light of human stems cells potential to treat, prevent and possibly cure disease, scientists and legislators must work in conjunction to optimize this potential for the betterment of all while mitigating the potential negative impact to society.
Brief Description on Technology Technology is knowledge that is used to create tools, develop skills and collect or extract materials. It is also the combination of scientific method and material to meet an objective or to solve a problem. There are several types of stem cell three of which are embryonic stem cells, adult or somatic stem cells, and induced blueprint stem cells. Embryonic stems cells are produced from embryos. A large portion of embryonic stems cells actually come from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro.
However these are not from eggs that are fertilized in women they actually are made in an in vitro fertilization clinic. In vitro fertilization (IF) is a method used for combining an egg and sperm together in a laboratory. When an embryonic stem cell is created in a laboratory this means that cells re transferred from a precipitation-stage and then placed into a plastic culture. The culture dish normally has a broth known as culture medium. This process is not one that is always successful meaning that not all embryos will divide and fill the laboratory dish.
The ones that do split are then gently removed and placed into several other dishes. This process is one that takes several months being that every time a culture dish is full the cells are removed and then divided into other culture dishes; each time this is done it is known as passage. An embryo cell has to be cared for properly if they are to then they are at risk of developing muscle cells, and nerve cells, this occurs when they begin to clump together forming embryo bodies.
Embryonic stem cells are referred to as blueprint stem cells these come from the inner cell mast off blastoffs, this is a pre implantation embryo. A human embryo reaches the blastoffs stage within 4 to 5 days after being fertilized; they consist of 50-150 cells. When the embryologist or inner cell mass is isolated it causes destruction of the blastoffs. When this happens it raises ethical issues as to whether or not embryos at the pre implantation tag should hold the same moral status of a more developed human being. The embryonic stem cell has recently begun being used for individuals with an eye disease.
The main use of embryonic stem cells has been to develop understandings of treatments for different diseases. Embryonic stem cells can product all types of cell which is why it is used when researching treatment for diseases. The goal of this is to one day be able to use embryonic stem cells to replenish cell damage and or tissue damage due to some diseases. There are many ways in which human embryos can be used such as in research and clinical studies. Studies of human embryonic stem cells will reveal complex information of events that occur during human development.
One of the primary goals of this study is to determine how undifferentiated stem cells become the differentiated cells that form tissues and organs. Scientists know that turning the genes off and on is central to this process. Some of the most serious medical conditions such as cancer, and birth defects are caused by abnormal cell division and differentiation. By gaining a more complete understanding of the genetic and molecular controls of these processes might yield further information as to how such sissies come about. And possibly suggest new ideas for therapy.
Human stem cells are at this time being used to test new drugs. New medications are tested for safety on differentiated cells generated from human blueprint cell lines. An adult stem cell is meant to repair the tissue where it is found when in a living host. Adult stems cells increase when trying to replenish dying cells, they are undifferentiated cells. When referring to somatic stem cells instead of an adult stem cell they are referring to cells of the body. There are different types of adult stem cells on is mechanical stem cell, these tem cells form fat cells, cartilage, bone, tendon, ligaments, and nerve cells.
The problem however is that not all organs or things within the body contain a large number of adult stems cells which cause them to not regenerate and quickly when they have become damaged and or diseased and example would be the heart. Currently researchers all around our world area studying adult stem cells to see if they can isolate different kinds of adult stem cells, this way they may try to learn how to control to rate at which a particular cell may reproduce. Along with trying to learn if they can direct a cell to produce a retain type of adult stem cell when needed.
This is something that has caused a large amount of excitement with researches due to the possibilities that hopefully adult stem cells will be used for transplants. A well-known fact in adult homeopathic, or blood forming, stem cells bone marrow has been used in transplants for over 40 years. The history of research was started over 60 years ago in the sass. An end goal for this research is to hopefully be able to one day potentially regenerating an entire organ from the adult stem cells.
Adult stem cells are not as big a controversial topic as embryonic stem cells cause they are made from actual adult tissue instead of from embryos generated by EVE Currently the only adult stem cells that are used for a treatment are blood stem cells this procedure is known as bone marrow transplants. When doing these cells find their own way to the proper locations and begin to work to form the proper tissues or cells needed within the body. In order for adult stem cells to be considered a successful treatment there are a few requirements.
They have to reproduce the amount of cells and tissue needed. Create the needed cell type, they need to be safe, and they Stem cells need to Stay alive and functioning properly. It is possible to receive an adult stem cell treatment that is not safe due to a clinic not properly testing the cells. If they are to be manipulated incorrectly this has the ability to increase the risk of cancers. Adult stem cells can be genetically reprogrammed when this happens it is called an induced blueprint stem cell. When this occurs the adult stem cell is reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state.
In this state they are being forced to express genes and factors important for maintaining the embryonic stem cell properties. Although there is continued research happening which is need for induced allurement stem cell it is already a useful tool being used for the development and modeling of diseases, it is hoped to use induced blueprint stem cells in transplantation medicine. The technology that is used in developing induced blueprint stem cells was originally pioneered by Shinny Handyman’s lab.
It was in this lab where they discover that by the introduction of four specific transcription factors you could convert a adult stem cell into a induced blueprint stem cell. This is one stem cell that holds great value in the development of finding ways to regenerating cells and issue. An induced blueprint IS the embryonic stem cell however is not developed from a embryo and is instead developed directly from adult tissue. Due to the fact that these come from direct tissue they can be made in a patient match-man near.
It is possible that by using induced blueprint stem cells we could reduce the complication and risks of immune rejections. This type of stem cell is still undergoing checks to reassure that it is safe to use. Associated Science When we speak about plasticity it is referred to as the ability of an organism to have the ability to change or transform. Plasticity is also known as transubstantiation. This is when a stem cell that is from an adult stem cell is supposed to generate into a specialized cell type, or a type of tissue.
Some examples of this are how the cells from bone marrow can be differentiated into liver, lung, and even skin which these are actually derived from endoderm and mesoderm. This is however something that is still under specific experimental conditions. However there is evidence that suggest that it is possible under the right environment for this to work. When we talk about a stem cell being clonally derived we are it means that his cell came from a single stem cell and is identical.
We are all familiar with the term clone this is something that we have all wanted to do at one point or another to get something done that we felt we needed more help with, this process is similar to that. This is one of the factors that are most important in stem cell research for several different reasons. It is important that scientist understand the genetics and characteristics of every stem cell so that they can verify that all cells are exactly identical so that they can have the same genetic capabilities and functional qualities.
When cells are in a group they re capable of developing multiple cell types such as, blood cells, bone cells, and perhaps others. It has not yet been proven that a single cell by its self has these capabilities. There are researchers currently working on a process known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SENT). The purpose behind this method is to produce genetically specific stem cells. The process behind this is putting a nucleus of a body cell into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed. Once this happens the resulting clonally embryo is induced to being dividing. This does not occur without chemicals or electricity.
Once this recess is completed and there is 100 or more cells stem cells are them harvested. It is however facts that even to this day no human stem cells have been produced using research cloning. Stem cell may become damaged and or dysfunctional for several reasons those reasons can be genetics, disease, injury or something as simple as aging. However stem cell research still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality to start treating with it. Yes we do already have the capabilities of bone marrow transplants but there are many other areas that research would like to begin using stem cell research.
By taking the time to study adult stem cells it can help research to grow a better understanding of how tissues develop and what goes wrong when those tissues actually become diseased. Also by doing these types of research scientist can begin to try to understand how Cancer cells develop and continue to grow giving them a better opportunity to develop types of cancer therapies. By growing tissue that is grown by human stem cells they can be used to test for effects of different drugs and chemicals. This giving researchers a little more knowledge as to how they would work with an actually human.
Another challenge that is faced with stem cell research is the risk that a cell has the possibility of passing on a virus or other microscopic agents that may cause a disease. The individuals that are in need of stem cell transplants are individuals who are already taking drugs that wipe out the immune system and their ability to fight of disease. However this is to help them from having their bodies reject the transplant in which they are given. The concern with embryonic stem cells is that they are young stem cells that have to be guided by researchers while they progress through there stages and are ready to be used.
However once they have been transplanted there is a risk for them to grow rapidly due to their young age and may cause tumors to grow. A third concern is that once the stem cells have been transferred there is a risk that they may differentiate into the wrong cell type of tissue. These are just a few of many reasons as to why stem cell research is not safe yet to be used regularly. As with any other technology, or advancement in medicine time is everything. Not only are the challenges with stem cell research from our current development.
We also encounter problems where people feel researchers are violating ethical standards. It is said that it is unethical for the use of embryos to grow human stem cells. This is a large challenge as it is one of the main sources use by researchers for growing human stem cells. Historical Development To explain the ideas behind stem cell research, it is important to grasp the origins of the science that is used. To understand the stem cell, scientists had to first figure out what a cell is. The continual desire to explain the world to a deeper level drove scientists to further probe this cell.
The result is what is known as stem cell research. To start, there was a time where it was not now that everything was made up of cells. This is the starting block of biology that led down to the concept of the stem cell. “In his 1838 article, Schlemiel reached the now famous conclusion that the basic structural element of all plants was the cell. ” (P. 8, Scott, 1. , Logan, D. C. , 2004). At this point scientists were just opening the box on what life was made of. Prior to that discover, just the idea of cells was not known of to scientists.
In less than 200 years the understanding of life and beings shifted from just basic understanding of the building blocks to the enormous understanding of how fife starts, how it is formed and how it works on a fundamental level. The next large stride towards gaining understanding of the stem cell was achieved by Hans Spaceman. He transferred the nucleus of a 16-cell embryo to an embryonic cell with no nucleus, and hatched a normal salamander (P. 17, Scott, C. , 2013). This was the first successful cloning experiment and gave rise to idea of the power that could be unlocked with a greater understanding of these special cells.
It was also the first glimpse at a powerful cell type that was previously unknown. Regrettably, cloning is a controversial aspect and Seibel use of stem cells that can be overly focused on in discussions regarding stem cell research. The fact that stem cells can be used for cloning can act as a distraction from the other uses and applications of stem cells that are much more altering to the medical community. These alternate implications will be covered in further detail throughout the paper.
After Spaceman’s cloning experiment, the concept of cells that could grow into any kind of cell, a blank cell could become an actual living creature, justified advance research. At this point there was a lack of understanding in how ouch a single cell could impact the medical community. It wasn’t until McCullough and Till developed a definition of stem cells that dedicated research could be achieved. ‘They [McCullough and Till] developed a definition of stem cells that holds true today: they are self-renewing, able to give rise to differentiated descendants, and capable of extensive proliferation. (P. 467, Harding, A. , 2006).
It was at that point that a stem cell could finally be classified as a stem cell. When biologists discuss stem cell’s this is what they are talking about. Until this juncture there were different areas of research Ewing done, but they lacked the cohesiveness that a succinct definition allowed. This definition also highlighted some possibilities for technology from this science that caught the attention of scientists and investors. A division Of research that was clearly critical in the discoveries Of Stem cells was the applications of bone marrow transplants.
Bone marrow was discovered to be the source of all different types of blood cells. This matches to the definition of a stem cell provided by McCullough and Till. The implication of bone marrow being a stem cell was that by transplanting bone marrow one loud treat many different blood related diseases as the new, healthy bone marrow would supply the host patient with a source for all different types of blood cells. This allows the body to successfully overcome a number of different blood related illnesses including immune deficiencies, anemia and leukemia.
It is this ability to be a source for many different types of cells that allow stem cells to be such a diversified treatment for many different illnesses and ailments. The versatility of these types of treatments is what causes stem cell research to be such a key to the future of medicine. In 1995, embryonic tem cells lines from primates where derived. A stem cell line is a population of cells that can be used to create a larger population through cell division. This population has the same genetic code as the first cells in the line.
This was an important milestone because it was the closest scientist had come to taking this prospect of embryonic stem cells and applying it to humans. It was a stepping stone to the application of great ideas to real life medical treatments. It also led to the first human embryonic stem cell line. Human embryonic stem cells lines where first derived in 1998. Research has shown hat human stem cells are more representative of humans and are required for the best treatments and testing on humans. These embryonic stem cells allow for the creation of all sorts of tissues that would otherwise been unavailable to doctors and scientists.
This led to the most controversial point with stem cells, how to get them. The impacts of the controversial division are felt in both the funding of the research and the social political view of the scientists that are working on the research. The debate is discussed in greater detail within the paper but the impact to the research was, and still is quite rueful. With stem cells being very difficult to obtain and the controversy surrounding them, researchers are working on the best practices with respect to using them.
There is a growing focus toward building on the best knowledge to date and establishing standardized, quality-controlled, good manufacturing processes and protocols for the isolation and reintroduction of cells” (P. 329, Brunt, K. R. , Weasel, R. D. , & Rene-Eke, L. , 2012). These updated and standard processes make the application of the science in stem cell research much more effective and predictable. Repeatability is an important aspect to any research. When the lives of real, living people are added into the mix, the requirement to get things right the first time and every time is very high.
There are also a bunch of other factors that can impact the outcome of any medical procedure. Factors that can impact the outcome of a stem cell treatment can include age, genetic predisposition, environment, et cetera. As such, the continued development of methods that keeps as many factors controlled as possible allow for the best research that can be done. It also insures that the research done provides the most benefit to the population. The actual purpose of this research is to better human lives. There are practical applications of this science.
The technology developed from this science is focused on curing of diseases as well as improving living conditions for people suffering from incurable illnesses. For example stem cells are being used to build a heart for a child born with a heart defect. The heart would not be rejected because it would be made up of that child’s own cells and another small child does not have to die to provide said heart Another fragment of treatments developed from stem cell research are applicable to different types of cancer.
A successful treatment option for leukemia is a bone marrow transplant. This is a type of stem cell application as described previously. Bone marrow can create all different types of blood cells, thus classifying it as a stem cell. Unfortunately, finding an appropriate donor is difficult and the possibility of rejection and infection are quite high. This is where the science has led the technology to. Further research and development of treatments is ongoing to turn this possibility into a reality for those people suffering with increased succession rates.
It may also one day be possible for doctors to grow a person’s bone marrow, creating a treatment that reduces the current risks associated with transplants. The Economics Of Stem Cells In the previous sections we have learned a little bit Stem Cell’s history and background, as well as the types of things that it is used for and what they are hoping to use it for in present day as well as going into the future. We have also touched on what exactly a Stem Cell is and the process that is required to obtain the cell itself.
As important as all of the medical research is along with the procedures and he illnesses that they can cure, we often lose sight on one of the more important factors that goes into all of this and that is the economics that are involved with all of this. In this section we will discuss the economic impact that comes with Stem Cell research as well as the applications that it is being used for in today’s society. Here we will discuss what has to happen in order for this process to begin, who provides the patents for this Reese rich and the different types of issues that come with that.
Also we will talk about what it takes for a company or hospital to receive a grant and a patent in order to legally practice and search Stem Cell therapy. We will also look at some of the companies that are involved with all of this and how they are getting their funding to work on something that could potentially change the world. Expenses are another topic that we will touch on in this section as well. We will inform you of how much money Stem Cell research is costing our country along with a global look and see where we compare.
Aid is another important aspect of this, entire process, how much aid is out there for the research and how can people obtain these funds to further continue the ground breaking search that we have only scratched the surface with. Lastly will breakdown whether or not this is something worth investing in as an individually, a company, or globally. There are many factors that take place when looking to get into the Stem Cell game and like everything else in life there are no guarantees, but people seem to want to roll the dice on this and the payout could be extraordinary.
Before anything can be started a company or lab has to submit a formal application to the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (SPOT). This has been the governing body for all patents within the United States since 871 and has many sub-offices within each state that is better suited for handling state specific requirements, but the overall judgment call comes from the main the office. Once their application meets the requirements of SPOT they will then issue the company/lab a patent which is the first step towards being allowed to work with stem cells.
Now we have to keep in a mind that there are a number of patents that are available when it comes to something such as life science. We must also keep in mind that just because someone has obtained a patent that does not necessarily mean that they can tart to produce and sell their product to the public in any way; it is simply stating that you are able to create something. You have to make sure that you are applying the correct patent when you are dealing with something like stem cells because they can fall under a number of categories because of all the different uses.
With that being said you may have to get a multiple patents in order to accomplish the work that your company/lab intends to work do with the cells themselves. The most commonly understood form is a patent on a physical invention taking the form of a product or device designed by the inventor. Another common form is a patent conferred on a material or substance created by the inventor. A lesser understood patent type is a process patent whereby an inventor can patent the process by which a material or product is prepared. (Baklava, L. Buckhorn, S. , Jung, S. , & Wong, Y. (2009, April 25).
Once a company/lab as obtained the correct patents they can move to have the rights to that operation for the next 20 years. Once all of the papers are official that company can then start to produce their product for monetary gain, in which will also allow the company/lab to grow and possible expand into other life science fields. Once the patent work is out of the way, we then ask ourselves what types of companies are getting involved with stem cells as their main source of business.
First we have to take into consideration that a company or lab that is working with stem cell research can either be private or public. This is important because it can determine what kind of money it will take to run such an operation as we will discuss later that this is not a cheap endeavor for any party. Private companies have the legal right to withhold any information or findings to the general public, which in turn allows them to basically sell to he highest bidder if they do come up with something in their research.
At the same time it does make it a little bit harder because the money that they will need to keep their operation going will require investments from private venture capitalist. This makes things difficult because there is still so much to be learned about stem cells that people with that kind of money are weary to invest their own money into it, and with that being a major factor many private companies have a hard time keeping their doors open. On the off chance though that something does happen then there is a big payoff for hose investors in the long run.
On the flip side of things most companies that are involved in stem cell work start out as private companies but once they have been able to sustain themselves and show growth a majority of the time they will become a “public” company and enter in to the market. This gives them much more opportunity to make money because they are able to sell stocks of the company and increase their net worth. Another good reason for a company to go public is it allows them to then receive funding from outside sources in order to further grow their research and work with stem cells as a whole.
One of the biggest founders out there today is The National Institutes of Health (NIH). Along with the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CRIME), these two companies have been the largest founders of stem cell work in the country for many years. The Knish’s funding most years with just $88 million out of the $938 million dollars (Stem Cell Funding. N. D. ) spent within their fiscal year. The NIH also has a web link that breaks down all of their spending in terms offending and grants to provide a more detailed breakdown at (http://stencils. NIH. Gob/research/funding/).
The CRIME has also put an outrageous amount of money out there in funding for stem cell research and development. Since 2008 the CRIME has been responsible for twelve facilities being built in order to work with and study stem cells. They alone donate $271 million dollars and with private donations added on top of that the CRIME is responsible for around $800 million dollars of the countries stem cell funding. With this type of funding many facilities are now totally operational and funded by the CRIME without any government aid, which also gives them a little more freedom in the work that they can do.