You’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding stem cells, but before passing judgement, read here for 7 amazing benefits of stem cell research.
The term “stem cell research” is very divisive in America. Some people see stem cell research as wonderful, but others see it as immoral and want it to stop.
Yet, many people do not know that there are two types of stem cells, embryonic and non-embryonic (or adult stem cells). Scientists use both for medical research, but the embryonic stem cells are easier to extract and yield better results.
It seems that most people are either pro stem cell research in all its forms or they are 100% opposed to any stem cell research at all! Recent surveys reveal that about 65% of Americans approve of medical research with embryonic stem cells. Which means, though the majority of Americans approve of research with stem cells, the opposition’s numbers are not far behind.
Scientists are working on many projects for using stem cell therapies. Keep reading to learn a few of the most important benefits of stem cell research and therapy.
Developing New Treatments for Common Diseases
Scientists are trying to use stem cell therapy for the treatment of complicated disorders. Some of the most common and devastating diseases like Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Some of these tested therapies are already in use on real patients. These patients visit a stem cell therapy center near them to receive the treatment in an outpatient setting. Though the therapies are still considered experimental, scientists believe that the results will be positive.
As scientists learn more from their research, we are sure to find other diseases and maladies that respond well to stem cell therapy. More research must happen before we can learn all the ailments that stem cell therapy can treat.
Growing New Organs in a Laboratory
Anyone who has had or known someone with a disease requiring an organ transplant knows that some waiting lists are years long. People die while they are waiting for organ donations every year.
What if we could get rid of organ waiting lists and heal all those sick people? Stem cells might be the answer to this problem!
Laboratories can make new organs and tissues using stem cells by growing them on organ molds. Then, the new organ or tissue could get transplanted into the patient’s body, healing their ailment. These new organs function as a normal organ would because the cells are human.
Imagine a future where we could take this technology further. Instead of growing and replacing organs, we could grow full limbs or functioning eyes. The possibilities are endless!
Benefits of Stem Cell Research for Animal Lovers
If you have four-legged furry friends or if you care about animal testing, stem cells research benefits you too. Using stem cells reduces (or eliminates) the need for animal and human clinical testing.
When a new drug or treatment is in the beginning stages of testing, scientists can use stem cells to mimic other kinds of human cells and study how the new drug affects that cell sample. At the very least, this means that scientists can put off human testing until proven safe.
Reducing Disorders Affecting Embryonic Cells
Many disorders originate in the womb while the baby is still an embryo. These disorders cause problems like birth defects and pregnancy loss.
Stem cell research is attempting to understand more about these disorders so we can find a cure. Reduced frequency of embryonic disorders means healthier babies.
The Real Fountain of Youth
No, we are not talking about the one Juan Ponce de Leon was searching for. This fountain of youth is attainable.
Some scientists are using stem cell therapies to slow the aging process for various types of human cells. Some studies even show that stem cells can reverse some of the existing damage from aging.
Helping to Prevent New Cell Rejection
A major issue with traditional organ transplants is when the patient’s body rejects the foreign organ. The patient faces possible death, or at least the inability to continue using that organ when this occurs.
Doctors can use the patient’s non-embryonic stem cells to grow organs or tissues to replace the damaged tissues since these synthetic organs or tissues originated from the patient’s cells.
Understanding How Cells Develop
As it stands, we do not know a lot about how human cells develop and become diversified into the various cells which make up our bodies. There are congenital defects which have plagued people for as long as history can remember, but we don’t know why these defects develop or how to prevent that from happening.
By studying stem cells and how they change to a different type of cell, scientists can understand how these abnormalities occur. After we know how it happens, we can work on a solution to keep everyone from suffering from these kinds of birth defects.
This Medical Research Should Be Cell-Abrated!
Keeping in mind that there are more benefits of stem cell research than what we have presented here, we are sure you agree that stem cell research is not all bad. Some may argue that we should only use non-embryonic stem cells for research to ease any moral quandary, but that may not be the best answer either.
Though it is possible to do studies with non-embryonic stem cells, as we mentioned earlier, they are not as effective as the stem cells harvested from undeveloped human embryos. Regardless of which type of stem cells a scientist uses, they deserve our thanks.
For a medical arena that receives so much ire, it is amazing how many benefits stem cell research has for humanity. If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our blog.