Stem Cells for Disease Treatment

Stem cell therapies are used to treat people with type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, heart diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, osteoarthritis, stroke, burns, and Alzheimer’s disease. Stem cells can be used to test new drugs, but first, they have to be programmed into the tissue-specific cells to acquire those specific cells’ properties. For instance, nerve cells can be generated to test new drugs to treat the diseases of the nerve. The test will show whether the new drug will be harmful to the cells or not. The other common type of stem cell used for treatment is the hematopoietic, which is employed to treat blood and the immune system and some types of cancer (Marzotto, 2020). There are several other stem cells used for research and treatment. Cancer cells can help in progressing cancer research and may help develop therapies that can treat cancer. One of the main disadvantages is that they are extracted from the human embryo, which may be deemed unethical. Nerve cells also offer several medical possibilities because they are undifferentiated; therefore, they can treat numerous ailments. The main disadvantage of nerve cells is that, in some cases, they can be rejected by the body when they are transplanted (Marzotto & Alt, 2017). The rejection occurs when the donor and the receiver’s cells are incompatible. The donors inject $750,000 to fund research on nerve cells and hematopoietic cells. The funding depends on the proposals submitted (Marzotto, 2020). There is significant progress that has been made in this field; however, the funding given is not sufficient to fully carter out the research. Currently, Congress does not approve any funding for studies that involve the destruction of the human embryo. However, it is argued that funding for research is not in the purview of Congress. Some states in the United States have passed legislation to ban research using human embryos, while others have not (Marzotto, 2020). Therefore, stem cell politics depends on the legislation of different states.

References

Lo, F. E., van,. L. S., & Maiorano, D. (2016). Genomic instability of pluripotent stem cells: Origin and consequences. Routledge. Marzotto, T., & Alt, P. M. (2017). Stem cell research: Hope or hype? Routledge.