Stem Cells | Episode 015

Episode summary introduction: Stem cells are the foundation cells for all organs and tissues. Stem cells are a single cell that can replicate or become a specialized cell. But to better understand stem cells we kind-of have to go back to our last episode and pick up at the beginning of IVF, in vitro fertilization.

Topic 1: Where do stem cells come from? Embryos, Adult stem cells, iPS (induced pluripotent stem cells), Multipotent stem cells.

Topic 2: Stem cells may have the potential to be grown to become new tissue for use in transplant and regenerative medicine. Researchers continue to advance the knowledge on stem cells and their applications in transplant and regenerative medicine. People who might benefit from stem cell therapies include those with spinal cord injuries, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, stroke, burns, cancer and osteoarthritis.

Topic 3: FDA Warning; U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that some patients seeking cures and remedies are vulnerable to stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful. The FDA regulates stem cell products in the United States. FDA may take (and has already taken) a variety of administrative and judicial actions, for those who illegally obtain and practice stem cell research.

Outro: The big question regarding stem cell research is ethics. The ethical dilemma typically comes from research on embryonic stem cells. It is argued that the research is unethical because deriving the stem cells from embryos destroys the blastocyst, an unimplanted human embryo at the sixth to eighth day of development. Which ultimately destroys the embryo and the potential human life.

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