- Education and Science
Umbilical Stem Cell Transplant is Easier
Thanks to stem cells, the multi-cellular organism like the human body is formed and renewed.
They are the starter cell that can grow into adult tissue, they are the foundation for every organ, tissue and cell in the human body. Stem cells may be able to repair or replace damaged tissue, thereby reversing diseases and injuries such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and blood diseases, to name a few.
Stem Cell Types
Stem cells can be found in 2 types:
1- The embryonic stem cells that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts ( that cellular structure formed after the union of the sperm and ovum and before it is implanted into the uterus). They have the ability to renew themselves through division and differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cell types that form different tissues and organs.
2- Adult stem cells that are found in adult tissues. Together with the progenitor cells (which can only divide a limited number of times), stem cells act as a repair system of the body, replenishing specialized cells and maintaining the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as skin, intestinal tissues and blood.
Value of Stem Cell
Stem cell research has the potential to impact not just one disease, but numerous ones. According to the scientists studying these diseases, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autoimmune disease, burn victims, blood diseases, leukemia, and spinal injuries could all benefit from stem cell research.
Stem cells also hold much promise for in vitro (outside the body) drug testing, and could therefore significantly lessen the need for drug testing in animals and humans.
Value of Umbilical Stem Cell
For any biological transplant, there are 2 problems:
1- The transplanted cells are not typical to the recipient body cells, by virtue, the latter's immune system can recognize and attack the new transplanted cells.
2- The transplants may contain well developed immune cells, thus the transplanted cells will attack the recipient's body ( graft versus horse disease ) as occurs in bone marrow stem cells and peripheral blood stem cell transplants.
* With sophisticated technology, this might not be encountered in umbilical stem cell transplants.
* Stem cells were mostly derived from human embryos, and this had created intense ethical and legal debate worldwide and the reason is obvious, who has the right to use the material that would be a human being - even in research. With Umbilical Stem Cells which were routinely discarded after the birth, both research and clinical practice can avoid such a debate.
* The limited supply of embryonic stem cells for research and therapy can be eased with Umbilical stem cell.
* Many hospitals worldwide store cord blood, as the potential for finding tissue matches so that to avoid the problem with rejection of transplanted material.
Prospects of Umbilical Stem Cell
* A self and safe treatment for the child in his future life
* A safe treatment for the child's siblings
* A safe treatment for the child's parents ( British footballers are storing stem cells from their newborn babies as a potential future treatment for their own career-threatening sports injuries, like cartilage and ligament problems)
* Research of many diseases is made more easy
* Some researchers used NASA-developed microgravity technology to grow cord-blood stem cells in large enough quantities to treat patients. There have been plans now in place to use the technology to engineer pancreatic cells, which are able to reverse juvenile diabetes
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