Stem cells are the basic functional units of living organisms. These are responsible for our early development stages from an embryo to adulthood until old age. Because of stem cells, our body grows, our wounds regenerate, and why we have other characteristics of a living organism.
Scientists realized that by studying the essential properties of stem cells, they would discover and understand how to apply, influence, or use these cells to regenerate dead tissues and treat diseases. Thus the prominence of stem cell research in medicine has been making the rounds among medical journals and scholarly articles.
To some, stem cell research might sound like an unfamiliar subject. According to Barry Epling, further research on stem cells will allow for better medical alternatives to curing various diseases. That is why we will try to help you understand what makes stem cell research necessary in the field of medicine.
Studying the properties of stem cells help us understand them better
The main reason why stem cell research is popular amongst scientists is that every living organism has them. They are responsible for the development of the human body, including creating organs, construction of bones, and generation of blood. For instance, studying how embryonic stem cells behave can help researchers understand how particular congenital disabilities occur and their causes.
Observing stem cells also help scientists describe how a human develops from a sperm-fertilized egg cell into a fully-grown adult. Researchers can thoroughly explore other cellular interactions, such as how healthy cells replace damaged cells in the body. To date, the community of researchers considers stem cell research as one of the most essential and groundbreaking areas of contemporary biology.
Application of stem cell therapy in modern medicine
Although relatively uncommon, certain treatments for specific disorders can be done using stem cell therapy. Otherwise known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy involves influencing the regenerative properties of the human body (repair response) of damaged tissues using stem cells. This treatment is currently the best alternative to organ transplantation since the latter is limited in supply and fairly expensive.
In recent years, doctors have considered stem cell implantation the emerging standard of medical treatment for numerous diseases. For instance, a medical practitioner can cure a patient with heart disease by injecting stem cells into their cardiac muscles, thereby assisting in its natural healing.
The currently existing stem cell therapies include stem cell transplants. In stem cell transplantation, stem cells are injected into the bone marrow. These will replace damaged cells and allow the donor’s immune system to fight certain disorders such as cancer and blood-related illnesses. These treatments use adult stem cells or perinatal stem cells found in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood. Embryonic stem cells have yet to be determined safe for use in stem cell therapy.
The gradual discoveries in stem cell research such as ones founded by Barry Epling, have brought about endless possibilities for its application. As scientists understand more about stem cells, multiple scientific questions have surfaced alongside them. However, at the end of it all, researchers think that stem cell research is the closest concept to a universal cure in history.