Stem Cell Therapy

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Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy

Diabetes Research

An example of Stem Cell Therapy can be found in research that is currently being spearheaded by Harvard researchers who are trying to find a solution for insulin that currently affects people with Diabetes. At the end of October of 2014, researchers were close to finding an effective treatment for type 1 diabetes using human Embryonic Stem Cells. In type 1 diabetes the body kills cells, which are called Pancreatic Beta Cells that produce insulin that the body needs for glucose, which provides regulation throughout the body.They are close to finding a more effective treatment for type 1 diabetes as they are just one pre clinical trial away from being a "step away from the finish line." They have already made effective tests in mice, which gave three separate challenges with glucose.Harvard researchers Melton and Daniel G. Anderson are trying to develop an implantation device that would protect the cells that the immune system attacks. Melton used old human embryonic stem cells to create a new supply of these beta cells that would produce insulin. It is however not clear whether or not one dose of 150 million beta cells would be enough to last a lifetime until human trials. It took Melton over a decade to find the right combination to generate the stem cells into beta cells. At first development was hopeless because of strict laws that prevented the use embryonic cells, however his team is now able to use the stem cell without destorying the embryo.

Two different sources of stem cells:Embryonic Stem Cells: These stem cells come from the embryo when it is three to five days old and at this stage called the blastocyst. Pluripotent stem cell derived in human embryos, can divide into more stem cells or any other cell in the body. This allows embryonic stem cells to regenerate or repair damaged cells. The cells come from eggs that were fertilized in vitro fertilization clinics but never implanted in a woman’s uterus. The stem cells can grow in special petri in laboratories. Adult Stem Cells: These cells are found in adult tissues such as bone marrow and fat but in small numbers. They can also be used for stem cell therapy like Embryonic Stem Cells but are present in low quantities making it difficult to isolate them in numbers great enough that would be beneficial in Stem Cell Therapy.

Scientist are hoping to use stem cells to help people with different diseases through Stem Cell therapy, which is a process focused on replacing cells that are damaged or destroyed by diseases with healthy functioning cells.

Main Idea


An ethical situation that occurs in Stem Cell Therapy is where researchers obtain their stem cells. The most effective Stem Cells are found in Embryonic Stem Cells, as Adult Stem Cells have too many complications such as the numbers of cells found. The controversy is the extraction occurs during the early stages of embryo development, when a woman’s egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm. This would mean the destruction of the human embryo.

Stem Cells

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Dr. Doug Melton


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