Friday, February 20, 2015

The ABCs of Adult Stem Cell Research

Adult stems cells come from a variety of sources and from people of all ages and races. Some common sources are bone marrow, skin and various other tissues such as the placenta, and umbilical cord blood. Because they are multipotent (able to turn into many different cell types), adult stem cells are very versatile. In 2007 scientific studies were even able to manipulate these stem cells into a pluripotentstage (iPS cells). Pluripotentcy is the ability to become every cell type in the body. Most importantly, there is no harm to the donor when adult stem cells are collected.

While much of the discussion going on in the stem cell debate is centered on embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), it is only adult stem cell research (ASCR) that has had any success in yielding treatments for various medical conditions. Furthermore, through iPS, adult stem cells can possess the flexibility of embryonic stem cells. For these reasons, there is no need to continue the life-destroying, unsuccessful, unethical, and unnecessary ESCR.

ASCR has produced treatments for more than 73 medical conditions, including brain cancer, breast cancer, type I diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis, and stroke damage. ASCR does not destroy human life, is ethical, and effective.

Embryonic stem cells have yet to provide any treatments. Dead-end ESCR usually results in uncontrollable, tumorous growths, and always destroys human life. Additionally, treatments would require the cloning of humans. 

In 2007, scientists were able to reprogram ordinary skin cells back to a pluripotent stage. These cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Since iPS cells come directly from the person who needs them, the threat of rejection problems no longer exists when using these reprogrammed adult stem cells. Adult stem cells have already been proven to be everything embryonic stem cells are only speculated to be; there is no need to continue with ESCR, which always destroys human life. 

(ASCR Basics, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life)