Embryonic Stem Cell Research Paper

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Paper-82
In 1998, scientists reported three separate sets of research findings related to the isolation and potential use of human embryonic stem cells.Two of the 1998 reports were published by independent teams of scientists that had accomplished the isolation and culture of human embryonic stem cells (hereafter referred to as h ES cells) and human embryonic germ cells (hereafter referred to as h EG cells).Stem cells are capable of self-renewal and also of differentiation into specialized cells.

In 1998, scientists reported three separate sets of research findings related to the isolation and potential use of human embryonic stem cells.

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Hematopoietic (blood-forming) adult stem cells from bone marrow or from umbilical cord blood give rise to all the cells of the blood.

Skin cell transplants similarly rely on the transfer of skin stem cells.

In addition to those research accomplishments, the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1997 using a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer or, more simply, nuclear transfer (NT), illustrated another means by which to generate and isolate h ES cells.

h ES cell preparations could potentially be produced by using NT to replace the nucleus of a human oocyte, triggering development, and then isolating h ES cells at the blastocyst stage.

One report described the work of James Thomson and his co-workers at the University of Wisconsin, who derived h ES cells from a human blastocyst, comprising about 200 cells, donated by a couple that had received infertility treatments (Thomson et al., 1998).

Their accomplishment was significant, because h ES cells are considered by many to be the most fundamental and extraordinary of the stem cells; unlike the more differentiated adult stem cells or other cell types, they are pluripotent.Adult stem cells can be obtained from various tissues of adults or in some cases from neonatal tissues.A well-known example of the use of adult stem cells is bone marrow transplantation.A more likely benefit of the technology is that it would further facilitate a wide range of experiments to explore the underpinnings of genetic disease and possible forms of amelioration and cure, many of which would not be possible using h ES cells derived from blastocysts generated by fertilization (IVF), whose nuclear genomes are not defined.Although the promise of such research is as yet unrealized, most researchers believe that it will be a critical source of both important knowledge and clinical resources.h EG cells, which originate from the primordial reproductive cells of the developing fetus, have properties similar to those of h ES cells, although there has been less research into their potential.The third report, an article in the November 12, 1998, edition of the , described work funded by Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts.In both examples, the tissue involved naturally renews itself from its pool of stem cells—a property that can be exploited for medical use.It is possible that similar approaches can be developed for other tissues (such as muscle).Furthermore, the anatomic source of the cells (such as brain or heart muscle) might preclude easy or safe access.There are important biological differences between embryonic and adult stem cells.


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