Stem cell research has been conducted for many years. With stem cells we can now have a better understanding of how organisms that are complex develop from something simple as a fertilized egg. In a laboratory setting, researchers are able to follow up the process of stem cells division into specialized cells that make up the brain, bone and skin as well as other types of cells.
The process involves identifying mechanisms and signals that determine whether or not a stem cell will differentiate into something complex. Understanding will help us understand which processes control the normal cell and organ development.
The stem cell research has been triggered for years by development of serious medical conditions such as birth defects and cancer which often are as a result of abnormal growth and development of cells. Wen cells do not mature, divide and differentiate as they should then conditions such as cancer are likely to develop. A better understanding of molecular and genetic controls of the process of cell division and differentiation will yield more information as to why these conditions come to be and in the process new approaches can be sort. This is an important goal in research on stem cells.
What is a stem cell?
A stem cell is basically a cell that has not reached maturity and one that can potentially become specialized into different cells types in the boy for the formation of different body organs. Stem cells exist in two types: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells come to be during division of a newly fertilized cell. When these stem cells divide, they are differentiated to become any type of cell in the body that is required for the formation of different body organs as the foetus develop in the womb.
Adult stem cells on the other hand are very different from embryonic stem cells. These types if stem cells are found I already developed tissues. They are therefore found in both children and infants. These stem cells are not developed or a fertilized egg but are found later when different tissues have already developed. These types of stem cells act like replacement cells. This means that they undergo division regularly in order to replace worn out, dead or lost cells. They are specialized to take the place of cells that have been lost or those that have died. Adult stem cells can be found in tissues of the body such as blood, brain, bone, skin and muscle. N as much as research on stem cells has been going on for long, the research has not been able to yield much result due to the inability to develop and differentiate these cells in a laboratory setting.
The medical breakthrough in stem cells research
As seen much earlier, stem cells are immature cells that have the tendency to develop and specialize into any type of cells. This being the case, researchers have tried to use stem cells in understanding and dealing with medical conditions such as birth defects and different types of cancers like leukemia. Because stem cells can be specialized into any type of cells they have the potential of treating disease and other disorders.
Today stem cells research procedures are used life-saving options for patients suffering from lymphoma, leukemia, some types of tumors and other disorders of the blood.
Bone marrow transplant: For many years bone marrow transplant has been used tin treatment of diseases like leukemia. Bone marrow transplant involves removal of a donors bone marrow stem cells and replacing them with those of a sick patient. If the procedure proves successful, the bone marrow form a healthy donor migrates into the bone marrow of the patient. The healthy bone marrow will then begin producing healthy white blood cells which will end up replacing the abnormal cells in the patient. His s one of the major breakthroughs in stem cells transplant hat has seen many leukemia patients get a second chance.
Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs): naturally may of the blood stem cells are fund n he bone marrow, however a small number of these can be found n he blood stream. The process of obtaining stem cells from the bone marrow is usually a difficult process. Since stem cells are also resent in the blood, they can be obtained with ease form drawn blood making the process of obtaining stem cells easier. The only problem is that, stem cells in the blood stream exist sparsely in the blood stream which can prove difficulty while trying to extract enough of them for a transplant.
Umbilical cord stem cells transplant: the umbilical code s normally discarded as a waste product of the process of birth. However research shows that the blood found in the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells. These can be harvested and used to treat patients of cancer and other conditions of cell defects. These stems cells have been used to treating the same conditions as those treated by stem cells of the bone marrow and PBSCs.
Stem cells transplant is proving to be a promising approach to health conditions such as lymphoma and leukemia. You can tap into these benefits. Dr. Dalal Okoury is an expert in integrative medicine. Don’t also forget to attend the Integrative Addiction Conference 2015. The conference will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity of approaches to identifying and treating patients of addiction. Visit http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com for more information about the addiction conference.