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Embryonic Stem Cell Research –

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Dec 19 2018

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

is taking a five day old living human embryo, cutting him or her open and extracting embryonic stem cells from the inside, thus killing a living human embryo.

Most embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilizedinvitroin a clinicand then donated for research purposes. To obtain embryonic stem cells, the early embryo has to be destroyed. This means destroying a human life.A human embryo is a human being in the embryonic stage, just as an infant is a human being in the infant stage.No medical cures have resulted in working with embryonic stem cells.

Adult stem cells (also referred to as non-embryonic stem cells) are present in adults, children, infants, placentas, umbilical cords, and cadavers. Obtaining stem cells from these sources does not result in certain harm to a human being. In contrast to research on embryonic stem cells,adult stem cell research has already resulted in numerous instances of actual clinical benefit to patients.

Another potential obstacle encountered by researchers engaging in embryonic stem cell research is the possibility that embryonic stem cells would not be immunologically compatible with patients and would therefore be rejected, much like a non-compatible kidney would be rejected. A proposed solution to this problem is to create an embryonic clone of a patient and subsequently destroy the clone in order to harvest his or her stem cells. Cloning for this purpose has been termed therapeutic cloningdespite the fact that the subject of the researchthe cloneis not healed but killed. No one should be free to pursue gain (financial, health-related, or otherwise) through immoral or unethical means such as the taking of innocent life. We must not sacrifice one class of human beings (the embryonic) to benefit another (those suffering from serious illness).

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The Ethics Of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Viewpoint Essay

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Dec 11 2018

Posted at 12.05.2018

Since its breakthrough in 1963, (SC His, 2004) Stem Cell Research has helped the look and developing of cures which had looked like impossible mere generations earlier. Since then, huge progress has been made in finding better and more efficient means of utilizing these stem skin cells, and the huge benefits they offer. However, as with all revolutionary innovations, stem cell research goes on to handle opposition on different fronts, with many thinking it to be something inherently unethical. Such disagreement on the use of individuals embryonic stem cell (hESC) research predicated on religious and honest grounds must turn into a thing of days gone by, since the medicinal cures for diseases and disabilities which range from burns and spinal-cord accidents, to Parkinson's disease and even cancer tumor, make hESC research a miracle therapy that will make current disease something of days gone by.

Stem cells are essentially primitive cells having the ability to become all or almost all of the different types of cells in the body. Stem cells have usually been defined as not fully driven to be any particular type of cell or cells. They could be either "pluripotent" (as is the situation with hESC) where they can become any sort of tissues or "multipotent" (which is what "adult" stem cells are) and have the ability to transform only into certain types of muscle. Stem cells are unique from other cell types because they're simply unspecialized skin cells capable of renewing themselves, sometimes even after long cycles of inactivity, and this 's the reason which makes them so important (Irving).

Scientists been employed by with two kinds of stem skin cells from family pets and humans: embryonic or "pluripotent" stem skin cells and non-embryonic or "adult" stem cells. It really is of significant importance that the leading scientists in the study of mature stem cells present compelling arguments on why we must pursue research on both pluripotent and adult stem cells. Although some stem cells are present in men and women, there might not be a person adult stem cell for every kind of cell in the torso. The main thing to keep in mind is the fact pluripotent and mature stem skin cells also differ in their quality. Pluripotent stem cells have almost miraculous capacity to self-renew and also form numerous cell types, however in contrast the full potential of mature stem cells is uncertain, and a sizable amount of information suggests that they may be more limited. Because of these constraints, it is of extreme importance that research is pursued on both pluripotent and adult stem cells together (Lim).

The features of hESC

There are several different reasons why specific research of real human pluripotent stem skin cells might trigger better treatment, or ideally even cures, of several diseases.

Firstly, pluripotent stem skin cells could help us to understand the complex happenings that occur during normal human development. This research can identify the factors involved in the cellular decision-making process that results in cell field of expertise. For instance why do some skin cells become heart skin cells, while other skin cells become liver cells? A better understanding of the normal functions of skin cells would greatly boost the database of scientific knowledge whose aim would be to find the mistakes in these procedures and finally find ways to repair them (Marshall).

Secondly, and most importantly, real human pluripotent stem cells be capable of generate skin cells and tissue that could be used for "cell transplantation remedies, " These therapies would be targeted at finding ways to cure the diseases and disorders resulting from the dysfunctioning of specific types of cells and muscle. Although donated organs can, and are, sometimes used to replace diseased or destroyed tissue, the pure number of people suffering from the number of the disorders is much larger than the amount of organs or cells available for transplantation. By rousing pluripotent stem skin cells to build up into specialized skin cells and tissue, we have anticipation of finding ways to replace cells and tissue and therefore be able to treat a multitude of diseases, conditions and disabilities. (Van Der Kooy).

Ethical Considerations

Ethics is generally thought as "the rules of conduct accepted in respect to a particular class of individuals actions or a specific group, culture". (Dictionary. com) Ethics, however, cannot be considered as being truly a professional body of knowledge. Ethics is quite simply a conversation about questions. In that dialogue, everyone has a place. Most of us have our own moral intuitions. Relating to embryonic stem cell research, the question that we face is the long standing one of if the end justifies the means? Opponents of hESC research will probably claim that it is wrong to use embryos as a mere methods to our ends somewhat than as ends in themselves. This discussion boasts that since in destroying the embryo we are employing this "life" or "individual" as a means towards various other individual being's end, then it is incorrect to damage this embryo. The simple and understandable response by advocates of hESC research is that the embryo will be destroyed in any case, and the fair move to make is to utilize it to help another individual instead of throwing it away. Why should we avoid the curing of men and women on the basis of religious morality, it is merely not acceptable for the present day times in which we reside in.

A Slippery Slope

The slippery slope objection simply claims that after we start down the road of the creation of life only to eliminate it for other's purposes or benefits, then we won't be able to set restrictions to the risks imposed on our "to life. " It's advocated that since the proponents of hESC research justify early embryo damage and completely overlook the embryo's natural moral status, the end result will be a diminishing of respect for all individuals generally. What follows, because of this objector, is that such justification of the damage of early on embryos will lead to a rationale which could justify harmful tests on other individuals subjects. Although some slippery slope quarrels are valid due to the logical dynamics of the move from one situation to another, the current argument is significantly a far more psychological one when compared to a logical one. It is basically an argument that in taking current activities our thoughts will deteriorate and we will not be able to clearly assess our future decisions which may be wrong. That is an argument which has outlasted its sensible use. Since even the greatest nations on earth have come to understand that hESC research is vital to the continuation of the movement of human being knowledge. The one puzzling factor is the amount of folks who still believe scientific research such as this should be quit based on morality. It is a paradox that must definitely be fixed if we are to progress into an improved tomorrow for population (Lanza, Cibelli).

Future Endeavors

Research on stem skin cells continues to move forward knowledge about the countless unknowns related to the creation of individuals life, and also other organisms. Stem cell research is a remarkable field of research, but much like many expanding domains of scientific study, it increases questions as quickly as it creates new answers. An effective understanding must be produced, signifying the fact that the damage of a given amount of embryos will not alter the continuing future of the whole human race as considerably as some seem to be to predict. The grave evil that we affiliate with the damage of human life-and more broadly with using people as methods to an end- seems to reflects the actual fact that such destruction is either dreadful for the individuals whose lives are damaged or used, unlike their will. Embryos, however, are very different, since their damage does not have any meaning on their behalf or anyone else for example, unless they can be averted from being treated due to ethical restrictions. We must treat embryos in the manner which benefits mankind to its fullest magnitude. This will not entail using them however we see fit, whatever the consequences; but there is absolutely no reasonable reason to forgo the large benefits, and the very helpful discoveries that doctors and scientists expect will follow from intense research on hESCs. There is absolutely no reason why the near future should not commence around.

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The Ethics Of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Viewpoint Essay

Embryonic Stem Cells and Artificial Stem Cells Are …

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Dec 05 2018

Artificial stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, were made from embryonic stem cells, and then turned into the neural cells pictured here. These artificial stem cells showed a differentiation potential equal to that of embryonic stem cells. [Jiho Choi, HSCI]

Comparing embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells can be a little like comparing apples and oranges. Or to put it another way, apples-to-apples comparisons can be hard to arrange because embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells may be genetically distinct. In fact, they usually reflect sex, race, and ancestral differences. So, when embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells behave differently, as they often do, there is no telling if variations come down to basic genetic differences, or if variations are due to the rigors of reprogrammingwhich adult cells must endure to achieve artificial or induced pluripotency, but which embryonic stem cells are spared.

Because apples-to-apples comparisons are so hard to come by, stem cell scientists have never been able to agree whether embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are equivalent. Even after performing hundreds of experiments, stem cell scientists remained divided. Some experiments suggested that the two types of stem cells functioned similarly and could be used interchangeably, and other experiments suggested that they were fundamentally different.

To help resolve the controversy, stem cell scientists based at Harvard Medical School contrived an experiment that was as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as they could manage. They tricked human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into becoming human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) by first coaxing hESCs to form skin cells. Then they reprogrammed those skin cells into hiPSCs. Finally, they compared the gene products of the hiPSCs with those of the hESCs.

The results of the comparison would be telling, the scientists reasoned, because the hESCs and the hiPSCs were genetically identical. The comparison, it turned out, indicated that the different types of stem cell could not be distinguished by a consistent gene expression signature and were, in the scientists words, molecularly and functionally equivalent.

Details of the scientists work appeared October 26 in the journal Nature Biotechnology, in an article entitled, A comparison of genetically matched cell lines reveals the equivalence of human iPSCs and ESCs.

Here we use genetically matched hESC and hiPSC lines to assess the contribution of cellular origin (hESC vs. hiPSC), the Sendai virus (SeV) reprogramming method and genetic background to transcriptional and DNA methylation patterns while controlling for cell line clonality and sex, wrote the authors. We find that transcriptional and epigenetic variation originating from genetic background dominates over variation due to cellular origin or SeV infection.

When the scientists examined the gene products from the hESC and hiPSC cells, they found that only about 50 of the 200,000 genes that make up the human genome were expressed differently. Whats more, the differentially expressed genes were transcribed at such low levels that any apparent transcriptional difference between hESC and hiPSC cells may be nothing more than transcriptional noise.

Finally, the researchers assessed the functional properties of their ES and iPS cell lines. The researchers found that the cell lines had equal potentials to differentiate into neural cells and a variety of other specialized cell lineages.

When using these cell lines and assays, and after considering a number of technical and biological variables, we find that ES cells and iPS cells are equivalent, said Konrad Hochedlinger, Ph.D., a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a senior author of the Nature Biotechnology paper. Dr. Hochedlinger added the caveat that not all practical applications can account for the variables, and that the science has not yet advanced to where iPS cells can replace embryonic stem cells in every situation.

Embryonic stem cells are still an important reference point, against which other pluripotent cells are compared, noted Dr. Hochedlinger. Along those lines, this study increases the 'value' of iPS cells.

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Embryonic Stem Cells and Artificial Stem Cells Are ...

Embryonic stem cells | Cells | MCAT | Khan Academy

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Nov 25 2018

An overview of early development of a zygote to an embryo. Embryonic and somatic stem cells. Created by Sal Khan.

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Crucial Differences Between Non-Embryonic and Embryonic Stem …

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Nov 23 2018

July 10, 2009 | by Jan F. Dudt | Topic: Faith & Society Print

We hear a lot about stem cells, which are front-and-center as a major policy debate in America, one that involves science, medicine, ethics, politics, and much more.

What are the issues? Whats at stake? What are embryonic and non-embryonic stem cells? What are the crucial differences and distinctions we need to make as a society and citizenry?

Stem-cell technologies are some of the newest and fastest developing biotechnologies. Typically, along with genetic engineering and cloning, these technologies constitute the kind of 21st century advances that make this the century of Biology.

A stem cell is a type of cell that is nonspecific in its function; in contrast, for instance, to a heart or brain cell, which is functionally specific. There are two major sources of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and non-embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are obtained from 5- to 12-day old embryos. Although removal of a stem cell from an embryo kills the embryo, the stem cells are valued for their potential to produce any type of cell. That is, they have high plasticity. Conversely, non-embryonic stem cells are found in large quantities in placenta, umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, and in essentially all adult organs or tissues, including bone marrow, fat, kidney, liver, pancreases, intestines, breast, lung, etc. Any of these non-embryonic stem cells have ample plasticity and can give rise to nearly any type of cells, including heart, liver, lung, muscle, etc.

Thus, the heart of the stem-cell controversy centers on the aforementioned fact that the extraction of stem cells from 5- to 12-day embryos kills the embryo. But thats not the only issue: In addition, stem cells derived from an embryonic human may, in turn, reject the person who receives them. This situation is called graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). The problem can be avoided by producing an embryonic clone of the person needing the stem cells. However, the procedure produces an embryo that is indistinguishable from an embryo from a fertilized egg. This embryonic clone would be destroyed during the stem-cell harvesting required by the therapy. This type of cloning is called therapeutic cloning, since the production of a human baby is not the goal. (Reproductive cloning, producing a cloned human baby, has been universally outlawed.)

Another problem is that the embryonic stem cells can unpredictably cause cancer in the treated patient.

On the other hand, newly developed treatments associated with non-embryonic (adult) stem cells are way ahead of any hoped-for treatments associated with embryonic stem cells. Recent non-embryonic stem-cell therapies include treatments for non-healing bone breaks, healing damaged hearts, regenerating damaged muscles, correcting scoliosis, regenerating knee cartilage, treating thalassemia, osteoarthritis, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, spinal chord and nerve damage. Treatments to heal conditions associated with almost any organ or tissue are in view. These advances cast serious doubt on the need to develop embryonic stem-cell therapies, especially since embryonic technologies are morally objectionable, given that they require the death of the human embryo.

The use of ones own adult stem cells (autologous stem-cell transplant) is a way to avoid the problems of rejection and of killing human embryos. Also, certain types of adult stem cells (mesenchymal cells) can be harvested from anyone and changed in the lab (transdifferentiated) into a desired cell. In both of these stem-cell applications there are no adverse effects to the donor of the adult stem cells. The non-embryonic stem cells are safely harvested, purified from other cells and/or expanded in culture, and introduced into the patient without rejection. In another process, virtually any adult cell can be harvested from ones own body and treated to become cells capable of producing the needed cell type (induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS). These cells can also be cultured in the lab, and reintroduced into the patient. All of these sources of adult stem cells avoid the problem of having to use patented embryonic stem-cell lines that would be less available to the public.

And yet, the reputed plasticity of the embryonic stem cells continues to make the prospects of doing research on human embryos attractive to researchers who are uninhibited by the prospect of killing human embryos.

It is worth pointing out that, in terms of medical applications and treatments, two major facts are usually left out of these discussions: First, non-embryonic stem-cell treatments have been used to treat tens of thousands of patients, and with dramatic benefits. However, embryonic stem cells have not had one clinical trial with humans. Also, it has been clearly demonstrated that non-embryonic stem cells do not produce cancerous tumors in humans. Whether iPS cells share this non-tumorigenic quality is not yet clear. However, iPS cells have all of the medical application value hoped for in embryonic stem cells.

It must be noted that in a field as rapidly moving as stem-cell research, this situation will likely not be current for long. However, the current progress of stem-cell research as of spring 2009 speaks volumes regarding the effectiveness of non-embryonic vs. embryonic stem-cell research. The promises of embryonic stem-cell researchers are wildly overstated. The claims that embryonic stem-cell therapies will be available in five to 10 years rings hollow.

Aside from these scientific considerations, there are moral-religious matters of obvious concerns to Christians:

Christians committed to the sanctity of human life should look with favor on technologies that preserve and/or improve human life. Consequently, non-embryonic stem-cell advances should be embraced when they: 1) respect the consent and preserve the dignity of the stem-cell donors, 2) enhance the health of the stem-cell recipient, and 3) protect human life at every stage of development. Embryonic stem-cell harvesting remains problematic because the procedure destroys the smallest and most helpless members of the human family: embryos.

In truth, embryonic stem-cell use is being trumped by successful and surprising advances in adult and other non-embryonic stem-cell research. These advances protect the dignity of the donor and recipient while recognizing the value of all humans, regardless of their stage of life, from conception through old age. Hence, all frozen human embryos should be given a chance to be born, not given over to researchers to be destroyed for the sake of a research project.

Dr. Jan Dudt is a professor of biology at Grove City College and fellow for medical ethics with The Center for Vision & Values. He teaches as part of colleges required core course Studies in Science, Faith and Technology wherein students, among other things, study all of the major origins theories and are asked to measure them in the light of biblical authority.

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Crucial Differences Between Non-Embryonic and Embryonic Stem ...

14 Key Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research …

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Nov 05 2018

Embryonic stem cells have the promise to be a cure to a myriad of medical conditions and other potential benefits. However, the creation and destruction of embryos is involved in this process. For this reason, not all are supportive of embryonic stem cell research and the controversy surrounding it is still so much in the picture.

These are unspecialized cells found in living things and are able to renew themselves and develop into other cells by means of growth and repair so long as the host is still alive. They can also be manipulated to become tissue or organ specific cells. What are embryonic stem cells?

Basically, these are cells derived from blastocysts which are 3-5 day old embryos. Most of these sources come from unfertilized in vitro eggs and are used in research studies. These eggs are taken with consent from donors and brought to laboratories for scientists to use.

Embryonic stem cells are important because they have several potential uses, from getting information about cell development to creating new drugs for medical disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

When an egg is ready for fertilization, it shapes itself to allow for the sperms chromosomes to enter. During this stage, the egg divides into smaller cells and become what is known as blastocyst. This is then harvested and grown on a petri dish and divide to become embryonic cells. This process wherein cells are grown in an artificial environment is known as cell culture. This is used in cell engineering, molecular biology and stem cell.

Although both can become differentiated cell types, cells from embryos are pluripotent. Adult cells have limited capabilities to differentiate into other cell types. Moreover, adult stem cells are not as available as embryonic stem cells, making them hard to culture in laboratories. When it comes to transplantation rejection however, embryonic stem cells are more likely to be rejected as opposed to adult stem cells, according to scientists especially that there have only been few clinical trials done to test the effect of human embryonic stem cells on transplantation.

Despite the potential benefits of embryonic cells, there are also possible setbacks surrounding its applications. Supporters and critics continue their debate on this controversial issue and express their views on different forums. Scientists are also divided based on ethical and moral concerns.

Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research that are worth looking into.

1. They are not to be considered to have life. On the issue whether embryos have moral status, proponents claim that at this point, these embryos should not be considered as persons because they lack physical and psychological properties human beings have because they have not yet been implanted in the uterus. Moreover, even if they have, as in the case of in vitro fertilization, it is not yet certain that they can become human beings, given that success rates are low. Thus, these embryos are not to be regarded as if they were living persons.

2. At the time an embryo is harvested, the central nervous system is still not yet formed. Another point of supporters is the age of the embryo when it is used for stem cell research, which is around 2 weeks. At this stage, an embryo has not yet developed a central nervous system. Also, there is still no concrete evidence it can develop into a fetus. Since this is the case, embryos are not yet capable to feel anything since they dont have senses. Supporters maintain that if organs from brain dead people are allowed to be donated, this should also be the same with embryos.

3. Human embryos for stem cell research can help a number of patients. With the potential of embryonic stem cells to be used as treatment to several medical disorders such as heart diseases, Parkinsons disease and diabetes, destroying them is not actually doing them harm. For advocates, there is nothing wrong with the process because it results to helping hundreds of patients whose lives are in danger.

4. They come from unused embryos for in vitro fertilization and are not taken without consent. Advocates for embryonic stem cell research say that there is nothing unethical or morally wrong with using the fertilized eggs which were not chosen for in vitro. They also posit that these eggs will be discarded anyway and it would be better that they be used for the common good and benefit of the majority. Also, they reiterate that these embryos are given with consent from donors.

5. They can be used by scientists to find cure for several medical conditions. Another claim of proponents about the importance of embryonic stem cell research is the application of such cells to treat ailments like cardiovascular diseases, spinal cord injury, Alzheimers and Parkinsons as well vision impairment and diabetes.

6. They can be possibly used for organ transplantation. Since embryonic cells have the capability to divide into specific cells and are always available, they are good candidates for organ transplantation application as opposed to adult cells. Even if adult cells can be used to repair tissues and for organ transplantation, they are only few viable cells in adults capable of doing such.

7. Embryonic stem cell therapy is the next best thing to happen after the discovery of antibiotics. Scientists who support the use of embryonic stem cells to treat numerous diseases say that for so many years, patients suffer and die from different ailments. With stem cell research, including this one, hundreds if not thousands of patients lives are prolonged, making this medical science breakthrough a great discovery since antibiotics.

8. Embryonic cells can be used for further research by scientists. Advocates also say that discarded cells can be used by researchers to study more about cell properties, structure and growth. This way, they will understand better how cells function and will be able to apply these researches in finding other ways to cure diseases in the future.

1. Human embryos deserve respect as any other human being does. Opponents of embryonic stem cell research argue that these embryos, regardless of their properties or the lack thereof, should be considered and treated with the same respect just like any other person. They add that these embryos have the possibility to develop into fetuses and human beings. Thus, they also have life.

2. There is no evidence that embryos have lives or not so they should not be destroyed. With the issue whether embryos already have a status of life, critics of embryonic stem cell research say that there is no concrete evidence. An example used is that of a patient who is comatose. Just because he or she is not responding from stimulation is not a proof that there is no life. Critics say that the same logic should be applied in embryos. And since it is unsure that life exists in an embryo or not, no one should destroy an embryo without any concern or consideration.

3. Embryonic stem cell research takes away the chance of an embryo to become a human being. On the argument that an embryo is just like any part of the human body, an organic material and not a person, opponents say that embryos are in a stage that they have the possibility to develop into human beings. Since this is the case, using them for research is taking away this possibility and therefore, it is something unethical.

4. The use of embryonic stem cells had not yet been proven to be successful. Groups against this research contend that there have been very few success stories of embryonic stem cells to cure diseases. In fact, there have been reports of difficulty of these cells to new specific types as well as tumor formation. There is also the concern of organ transplantation rejection of recipients that critics believe to be reason enough to stop stem cell research.

5. Taxpayers money is used to fund researches like this. Another issue that stirs the minds of opponents is that the Federal government fund researches like these at the expense of the American people. Despite some scientists who appealed against this, the government has already spent $500 million in human embryonic stem cell research, according to reports. Despite the passing of legislation in 1996, prohibiting the use of taxpayers money for stem cell research, there are still private groups who were funding researches as well. Groups who are against this, however, continue to fight for the cause.

6. There are alternative ways to culture cells. Aside from embryos being used in stem cell research, adult cells can also be used as well as non-embryonic cells. Opponents posit that scientists should turn to these alternatives to save lives and look for remedies instead of the destruction of embryos. Scientists are already conducting studies on creating induced pluripotent stem cells and attempting to have human skin cells to go back to the embryonic state. With these developments, scientists should consider these options, according to critics.

In the middle of the controversial issue about using human embryos for stem cell research, groups remain divided. However, with new developments and options, perhaps, a time will come scientists can let go of using human embryos. If this happens, supporters are most likely to concede. After all, their concern is not on embryo destruction but on finding treatments for medical disorders.

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14 Key Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research ...

Reprogrammed stem cells identical to embryonic stem cells

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Sep 29 2018

Click on photo (at left) to enlarge Photo:iPS cells feature reprogrammed stem cells: Credit: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Russian researchers have concluded that reprogramming does not create differences between reprogrammed and embryonic stem cells.

Stem cells are specialized,undifferentiated cellsthat can divide and have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. They serve as a sort of internal repair system in many tissues, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another more specialized cell type, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Scientists

distinguish several types ofstem cellspluripotent stem cells can potentially produce any cell in the body. No pluripotent stem cells exist in an adult body, rather they are found naturally in early embryos.

There are two ways to harvest pluripotent stem cells. The first is to extract them from the excess embryos produced duringinvitro fertilization procedures, although this practice is still ethically and technically controversial because it does destroy an embryo that could have been implanted. For this reason, researchers came up with the second way to get pluripotent stem cells reprogramming adult cells.

Reprogramming, the process of turning on genes that are active in a stem cell and turning off genes that are responsible for cell specialization was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka, who showed that the introduction of four specific proteins essential during early embryonic development could be used to convert adult cells intopluripotent cells. Yamanaka was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon for the discovery that mature stem cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.

Production of iPS cells: Isolate cells from patient; grow in a dish Treat cells with reprogramming Wait a few weeks Pluripotent stem cells Change culture conditions to stimulate cells to differentiate into a variety of cell types blood cells | gut cells | cardio muscle cells Credit: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Thanks to their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer potential for treating any disease. For example, there have been cases of transplanting retinal pigment epithelium and spine cells from stem cells. Another experiment showed that stem cells were able to regenerate teeth in mice. Reprogramming holds great potential for new medical applications, since reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells (or induced pluripotent stem cells) can be made from a patients own cells instead of using pluripotent cells from embryos.

However, the extent of the similarity between induced pluripotent stem cells and humanembryonic stem cellsremains unclear. Recent studies highlighted significant differences between these two types of stem cells, although only a limited number of cell lines of different origins were analyzed.

Researchers compared induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines reprogrammed from adult cell types that were previously differentiated from embryonic stem cells. All these cells were isogenic, meaning they all had the same gene set.

Scientists analyzed the transcriptome the set of all products encoded, synthesized and used in a cell. Moreover, they elicited methylated DNA areas, because methylation plays a critical role in cell specialization. Comprehensive studies of changes in the gene activity regulation mechanism showed similarities between reprogrammed and embryonic stem cells. In addition, researchers produced a list of the activity of 275 key genes that can present reprogramming results.

Researchers studied three types of adult cells fibroblasts, retinal pigment epithelium andneural cells, all of which consist of the same gene set; but a chemical modification (e.g. methylation) combined with other changes determines which part of DNA will be used for product synthesis.

Scientists concluded that the type of adult cells that were reprogrammed and the process of reprogramming did not leave any marks. Differences between cells that did occur were thought to be the result of random factors.

We defined the best induced pluripotent stem cells line concept, says Dmitry Ischenko, MIPT Ph.D. and Institute of Physical Chemical Medicine researcher.

The minimum number of iPSC clones that would be enough for at least one to be similar to embryonic pluripotent cells with 95 percent confidence is five.

Clearly, no one is going to convert embryonic stem cells into neurons and reprogram them into induced stem cells. Such a process would be too time-consuming and expensive. This experiment simulated the reprogramming of a patientsadult cellsinto inducedpluripotent stem cellsfor further medical use, and even though the reprogramming paper, published in the journal Cell Cycle, does not currently propose a method of organ growth in vitro, it is an important step in the right direction. Both induced pluripotent cells and embryonic stem cells can help researchers understand how specialized cells develop from pluripotent cells. In the future, they may also provide an unlimited supply of replacement cells and tissues that can benefit many patients with diseases that are currently untreatable.

The study, titled, An integrative analysis of reprogramming in human isogenic system identified a clone selection criterion, concluded that reprogramming does not create differences between reprogrammed and embryonic stem cells, involved researchers from the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Research Institute of Physical Chemical Medicine, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).


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Reprogrammed stem cells identical to embryonic stem cells

Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Development, Volume 129 …

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Sep 29 2018

Dr. Brivanlou received his doctoral degree in 1990 from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Rockefeller in 1994 as assistant professor after postdoctoral work in Douglas Meltons lab at Harvard University. Among his many awards are the Irma T. Hirschl/ Monique Weill-Caulier Trusts Career Scientist Award, the Searle Scholar Award, the James A. Shannon Directors Award from the NIH and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The Brivanlou laboratory has demonstrated that the TGF- pathway plays a central role in inductive interactions leading to the establishment of different neural fates, which begins by the specification of the brain. In studies of frog embryos, Dr. Brivanlou has made several influential discoveries, including the finding that all embryonic cells will develop into nerve cells unless they receive signals directing them toward another fate. A concept, coined the default model of neural induction, postulates that neural fate determination requires the inhibition of an inhibitory signal. His laboratory has contributed to the molecular and biochemical understanding of the TGF- signaling pathway and cross talk with other signaling networks, using comparative studies of frog and mouse embryos and mammalian cell culture. To address whether the default model of neural induction is conserved from amphibians to mammals (and humans in particular), Dr. Brivanlous laboratory was among the first to work directly in hESCs. Dr. Brivanlou and colleagues derived several hESC lines, called RUES1, 2 and 3 (Rockefeller University Embryonic Stem Cell Lines 1, 2 and 3). The RUES lines were among the first 13 hESC lines approved for use in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research adopted in July 2009 under the Obama administration. Their current work focuses on the molecular dissection of the defining properties of ESCs their capacity for self-renewal and their ability to differentiate into a range of cell types. Dr. Brivanlous overall goal is to use hESCs to study early human embryonic development. Several collaborations with Rockefeller University physics laboratories have provided new insight, from the use of quantum dots for in vivo embryonic imaging (with Albert J. Libchaber) to development of new statistical tools for DNA microarray and high throughput proteomic analysis. Ongoing collaboration with Rockefellers Eric D. Siggia focuses on using a high throughput microfluidic platform to program hESC differentiation toward specific fates by dynamic changes of the signaling landscape and without compromising genetic integrity. Thus, the first steps of stem cell differentiation are being scrutinized using new high-resolution techniques drawn from physics. This data will be organized and developed into a predictive tool to rationally reprogram specialized fates from hESCs.

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Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Development, Volume 129 ...

Embryonic Stem Cell Protocols by Kursad Turksen | Waterstones

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Sep 29 2018

Now in two volumes, this completely updated and expanded edition of Embryonic Stem Cells: Methods and Protocols provides a diverse collection of readily reproducible cellular and molecular protocols for the manipulation of nonhuman embryonic stem cells. Volume two, Embryonic Stem Cell Protocols: Differentiation Models, Second Edition, covers state-of-the-art methods for deriving many types of differentiating cells from ES cells. The first volume, Embryonic Stem Cell Protocols: Isolation and Characterization, Second Edition, provides a diverse collection of readily reproducible cellular and molecular protocols for the isolation, maintenance, and characterization of embryonic stem cells. Together, the two volumes illuminate for both novices and experts our current understanding of the biology of embryonic stem cells and their utility in normal tissue homeostasis and regenerative medicine applications.

Publisher: Humana Press Inc. ISBN: 9781617377778 Number of pages: 456 Weight: 700 g Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm Edition: Softcover reprint of hardcover 2nd ed. 2006

"...elegantly introduces tremendous methods and protocols in ES of the most useful books that I have ever read in this field..." -Cell Biology International

"...highly valuable for any scientist who wants to make a start in the exciting field but also for experienced ES cell researchers who want to widen their repertoire" -Diabetologia

"...a very informative resource for any developmental or cell biologist with an interest in developments and prospects of ES cell research" -Molecular Biotechnology

"...a useful companion volume to other more specialized ES cell books..." -Nature Cell Biology

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Embryonic Stem Cell Protocols by Kursad Turksen | Waterstones

What Are Stem Cells? Research, Transplant, Therapy, Definition

Embryonic Stem Cells | Posted by admin
Jul 17 2018

Stem cell facts

Stem cells are cells that have the potential to develop into many different or specialized cell types. Stem cells can be thought of as primitive, "unspecialized" cells that are able to divide and become specialized cells of the body such as liver cells, muscle cells, blood cells, and other cells with specific functions. Stem cells are referred to as "undifferentiated" cells because they have not yet committed to a developmental path that will form a specific tissue or organ. The process of changing into a specific cell type is known as differentiation. In some areas of the body, stem cells divide regularly to renew and repair the existing tissue. The bone marrow and gastrointestinal tract are examples of areas in which stem cells function to renew and repair tissue.

The best and most readily understood example of a stem cell in humans is that of the fertilized egg, or zygote. A zygote is a single cell that is formed by the union of a sperm and ovum. The sperm and the ovum each carry half of the genetic material required to form a new individual. Once that single cell or zygote starts dividing, it is known as an embryo. One cell becomes two, two become four, four become eight, eight become sixteen, and so on, doubling rapidly until it ultimately grows into an entire sophisticated organism composed of many different kinds of specialized cells. That organism, a person, is an immensely complicated structure consisting of many, many, billions of cells with functions as diverse as those of your eyes, your heart, your immune system, the color of your skin, your brain, etc. All of the specialized cells that make up these body systems are descendants of the original zygote, a stem cell with the potential to ultimately develop into all kinds of body cells. The cells of a zygote are totipotent, meaning that they have the capacity to develop into any type of cell in the body.

The process by which stem cells commit to become differentiated, or specialized, cells is complex and involves the regulation of gene expression. Research is ongoing to further understand the molecular events and controls necessary for stem cells to become specialized cell types.

Stem Cells: One of the human body's master cells, with the ability to grow into any one of the body's more than 200 cell types.

All stem cells are unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells that are characteristically of the same family type (lineage). They retain the ability to divide throughout life and give rise to cells that can become highly specialized and take the place of cells that die or are lost.

Stem cells contribute to the body's ability to renew and repair its tissues. Unlike mature cells, which are permanently committed to their fate, stem cells can both renew themselves as well as create new cells of whatever tissue they belong to (and other tissues).

Stem cells represent an exciting area in medicine because of their potential to regenerate and repair damaged tissue. Some current therapies, such as bone marrow transplantation, already make use of stem cells and their potential for regeneration of damaged tissues. Other therapies that are under investigation involve transplanting stem cells into a damaged body part and directing them to grow and differentiate into healthy tissue.

During the early stages of embryonic development the cells remain relatively undifferentiated (immature) and appear to possess the ability to become, or differentiate, into almost any tissue within the body. For example, cells taken from one section of an embryo that might have become part of the eye can be transferred into another section of the embryo and could develop into blood, muscle, nerve, or liver cells.

Cells in the early embryonic stage are totipotent (see above) and can differentiate to become any type of body cell. After about seven days, the zygote forms a structure known as a blastocyst, which contains a mass of cells that eventually become the fetus, as well as trophoblastic tissue that eventually becomes the placenta. If cells are taken from the blastocyst at this stage, they are known as pluripotent, meaning that they have the capacity to become many different types of human cells. Cells at this stage are often referred to as blastocyst embryonic stem cells. When any type of embryonic stem cells is grown in culture in the laboratory, they can divide and grow indefinitely. These cells are then known as embryonic stem cell lines.

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The embryo is referred to as a fetus after the eighth week of development. The fetus contains stem cells that are pluripotent and eventually develop into the different body tissues in the fetus.

Adult stem cells are present in all humans in small numbers. The adult stem cell is one of the class of cells that we have been able to manipulate quite effectively in the bone marrow transplant arena over the past 30 years. These are stem cells that are largely tissue-specific in their location. Rather than typically giving rise to all of the cells of the body, these cells are capable of giving rise only to a few types of cells that develop into a specific tissue or organ. They are therefore known as multipotent stem cells. Adult stem cells are sometimes referred to as somatic stem cells.

The best characterized example of an adult stem cell is the blood stem cell (the hematopoietic stem cell). When we refer to a bone marrow transplant, a stem cell transplant, or a blood transplant, the cell being transplanted is the hematopoietic stem cell, or blood stem cell. This cell is a very rare cell that is found primarily within the bone marrow of the adult.

One of the exciting discoveries of the last years has been the overturning of a long-held scientific belief that an adult stem cell was a completely committed stem cell. It was previously believed that a hematopoietic, or blood-forming stem cell, could only create other blood cells and could never become another type of stem cell. There is now evidence that some of these apparently committed adult stem cells are able to change direction to become a stem cell in a different organ. For example, there are some models of bone marrow transplantation in rats with damaged livers in which the liver partially re-grows with cells that are derived from transplanted bone marrow. Similar studies can be done showing that many different cell types can be derived from each other. It appears that heart cells can be grown from bone marrow stem cells, that bone marrow cells can be grown from stem cells derived from muscle, and that brain stem cells can turn into many types of cells.

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Most blood stem cells are present in the bone marrow, but a few are present in the bloodstream. This means that these so-called peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) can be isolated from a drawn blood sample. The blood stem cell is capable of giving rise to a very large number of very different cells that make up the blood and immune system, including red blood cells, platelets, granulocytes, and lymphocytes.

All of these very different cells with very different functions are derived from a common, ancestral, committed blood-forming (hematopoietic), stem cell.

Blood from the umbilical cord contains some stem cells that are genetically identical to the newborn. Like adult stem cells, these are multipotent stem cells that are able to differentiate into certain, but not all, cell types. For this reason, umbilical cord blood is often banked, or stored, for possible future use should the individual require stem cell therapy.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were first created from human cells in 2007. These are adult cells that have been genetically converted to an embryonic stem celllike state. In animal studies, iPSCs have been shown to possess characteristics of pluripotent stem cells. Human iPSCs can differentiate and become multiple different fetal cell types. iPSCs are valuable aids in the study of disease development and drug treatment, and they may have future uses in transplantation medicine. Further research is needed regarding the development and use of these cells.

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Embryonic stem cells and embryonic stem cell lines have received much public attention concerning the ethics of their use or non-use. Clearly, there is hope that a large number of treatment advances could occur as a result of growing and differentiating these embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. It is equally clear that each embryonic stem cell line has been derived from a human embryo created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or through cloning technologies, with all the attendant ethical, religious, and philosophical problems, depending upon one's perspective.

Routine use of stem cells in therapy has been limited to blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells) derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood. Bone marrow transplantation is the most familiar form of stem cell therapy and the only instance of stem cell therapy in common use. It is used to treat cancers of the blood cells (leukemias) and other disorders of the blood and bone marrow.

In bone marrow transplantation, the patient's existing white blood cells and bone marrow are destroyed using chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Then, a sample of bone marrow (containing stem cells) from a healthy, immunologically matched donor is injected into the patient. The transplanted stem cells populate the recipient's bone marrow and begin producing new, healthy blood cells.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells and peripheral blood stem cells can also be used instead of bone marrow samples to repopulate the bone marrow in the process of bone marrow transplantation.

In 2009, the California-based company Geron received clearance from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin the first human clinical trial of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells in the treatment of patients with acute spinal cord injury.

Stem cell therapy is an exciting and active field of biomedical research. Scientists and physicians are investigating the use of stem cells in therapies to treat a wide variety of diseases and injuries. For a stem cell therapy to be successful, a number of factors must be considered. The appropriate type of stem cell must be chosen, and the stem cells must be matched to the recipient so that they are not destroyed by the recipient's immune system. It is also critical to develop a system for effective delivery of the stem cells to the desired location in the body. Finally, devising methods to "switch on" and control the differentiation of stem cells and ensure that they develop into the desired tissue type is critical for the success of any stem cell therapy.

Researchers are currently examining the use of stem cells to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue in many conditions, including those listed below.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2016



"Stem Cell Information." National Institutes of Health.

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What Are Stem Cells? Research, Transplant, Therapy, Definition