Chloe Gamard Period 1 Mr. Miles December 11, 2017 Stem Cell Debate Research Question 1 :Embryos are fertilized eggs that have just begun to develop. They contain stem cells that have not begun to differentiate. The embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest the stem cells. a. Should you destroy an embryo to save the life of a person who has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Muscular Dystrophy? b. Would it make a difference if it were your family member, your parent for example, that was going to receive the embryonic stem cells? c. Does the age of the recipient matter? - Child? - Elderly? Question 2 (Fertility Clinic Doctor):Stem cells have been known to regenerate tissue that normally would not be able to regenerate on its own naturally. In the case of a spinal cord injury, such as a car accident or an injured soldier returning home from war, stem cells could be used to regenerate nervous tissue in order to return these patient’s back to a full functioning nervous system. a. What are the benefits of having a fully functional nervous system? b. Is the use of stem cells justified in this particular case? Explain your answer. c. What if this process were able to return the ability of a paraplegic to walk? The use of stem cells is justified in the particular case. First off, stem cells are used to regenerate damaged tissues that were caused in accidents. There are two different types of cells: Embryonic Stem Cell and the Adult Stem Cell (Somatic Stem Cells). A common treatment is a stem transplant. In a stem cell transplant, embryonic stem cells are first specialized into the necessary adult cell type. Then, those mature cells replace tissue that is damaged by disease or injury. The transplant comes from two sources which are the patient’s own bone marrow (autologous mesenchymal and CD34+) and human umbilical cord tissue(allogeneic mesenchymal). Umbilical cords are donated by mothers after normal, healthy births. Cells taken from the bone marrow can prevent activation of inflammatory responses that lead to cell death. Note that enhanced stem cell treatments are not appropiate for some cases. Certain damages can lead to a permanent damage on your spinal cord like paralysis. Although it may be permanent, there are ways to slowly help your body regain feeling and movement. They take stem cells from the person’s own blood and injects it into the artery supplying the damaged part of the spine. After a few months (2-3 months), patients begin regaining sensation in the areas that were damaged.
Question 3 (Spouse of a person with a neurological disease):You are a mother/father in the OBGYN’s office looking at an ultrasound of your unborn child. The Dr. doesn’t want to alarm you, but notices a rare spinal cord deformity. The Dr. proposes the use of stem cell therapy to correct the problem. The stem cells come from an embryo that died.
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